'The judge was sympathetic towards Pistorius' - South African journalist on sentencing

'The man who is on his stumps who is vulnerable and anxious' - South African journalist on Oscar Pistorius' sentencing

Oscar Pistorius was given six years for murdering his girlfriend

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to six years in prison for murdering Reeva Steenkamp today, and South African journalist Gia Nicolaides says the judge was "sympathetic".

The former Paralympian shot Steenkamp in his home through a bathroom door four times in 2013. His defence caimed he felt vulnerable as he was not wearing his prosthetic legs, and believed Steenkamp to be an intruder.

Nicolaides believes the judge viewed Pistorius as "two different people".

"She actually did look at a number of factors," she told Sam Delaney.

"To her, the mitigating factors outweighed the aggravating factors, and therefore it deviates and justifies her decision to deviate from that minimum of a 15-year sentence. She did have a very sympathetic tone to Oscar Pistorius.

"A clinical psychologist had actually said we found his condition had worsened now compared to when he stood trial in 2014, and she believed there are two Oscars.

"One Oscar who is a Paralympian, the man on his prosthetic legs, the confident athlete, and then the man who is on his stumps who is vulnerable and anxious, and that's the man we have constantly heard about."

It's also believed the state may oppose the verdict and appeal the sentence.

"They have two weeks to decide whether they'll appeal this six-year jail sentence, and try and push for or secure a longer jail term, just in order to set the precedent for other murder cases which may be similar.

"In three years time, he'll be eligible for parole, but it doesn't mean they'll grant it."