Six-time Paralympic gold medallist could be released from prison after 10 months, while IPC bars athlete from competing at their events for duration of sentence
Oscar Pistorius has been handed a five-year sentence for the culpable homicide (manslaughter) of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.
Reports state that the six-time Paralympic gold medallist could serve a minimum of 10 months of his sentence in prison and the rest under house arrest, with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) confirming to the BBC’s sports editor Dan Roan that the athlete will be barred from competing at IPC events for five years, even if he is released early. Pistorius would therefore be ineligible for the Rio Paralympic Games as well as the two World Championships – Doha 2015 and London 2017. This would be reviewed should the sentence be appealed.
The International Olympic Committee is yet to comment on whether the sprinter will be allowed to compete at IOC events in the future.
Steenkamp died on February 14, 2013, after Pistorius fatally shot her through a toilet door. The athlete says he shot at the door thinking there was an intruder in his house and last month he was cleared of murder charges after Judge Thokozile Masipa stated that the prosecution had failed to prove premeditated murder.
The 27-year-old was found guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide, which meant he could have faced a jail sentence of up to 15 years, but at the Pretoria High Court on Tuesday, Judge Masipa handed the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter a five-year sentence, explaining a non-custodial sentence would send the wrong message to the community, but that “a long sentence would also not be appropriate because it would lack the element of mercy”.
Pistorius was also given a three-year suspended sentence for a separate firearms offence.
Pistorius’ family is said to have confirmed that the athlete will not be appealing his sentence, though the State prosecuting authority is yet to decide whether to appeal.
Known as the “Blade Runner” because of the carbon fibre prosthetic blades he would use when running, Pistorius made history at London 2012 when he became the first double amputee to run in both the Olympics and Paralympics.
The London 2012 Olympic 400m semi-finalist also won gold in the T44 400m at the London Paralympics, setting a Paralympic record in the process, as well as silver in the T44 200m and gold in the 4x100m relay.