Oscar Pistorius Found Guilty of Murder by South African Supreme Court

Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of the murder of his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp by South Africa's supreme court.

by VICE Sports
Dec 3 2015, 4:29pm

This article originally appeared on VICE Sports UK.

The Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of murder for the killing of his former girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in 2013.

South Africa's supreme court of appeal has overturned the previous conviction of culpable homicide, reached by Judge Thokozile Masipa in September 2014, and ordered a harsher punishment for the 29-year-old athlete. His initial sentence was a five-year jail sentence.

Pistorius shot and killed Miss Steenkamp at his Pretoria home on Valentines Day 2013. He immediately admitted causing her death by firing through a locked toilet door, but has maintained throughout that he mistook her for an intruder and believed his girlfriend to still be in bed.

Following his initial conviction, Pistorius spent under a year in prison before being released to live under house arrest with his uncle in October of this year. He now faces a far more lengthy spell behind bars, however, with the minimum term for murder in South Africa standing at 15 years.

The supreme court ruled that by arming himself with a high calibre weapon, Pistorius would have been aware that whoever was behind the door could die as a result of his actions.

Justice Eric Leach called Steenkamp's death "a tragedy of Shakespearean proportions".

The BBC reports that Pistorius will now have to return to court to be re-sentenced. He may be able to challenge the decision, but the same report adds that "there do not appear to be any grounds" for this.