Finally, it's over!!! The man who had the whole world at his feet, a hero of the athletics track and an inspiration for disabled people has been jailed for five years for killing his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine's Day last year. The sprinter's seven-month trial, which attracted worldwide attention has ended.

The 27-year-old, Oscar Pictorius who was found guilty of culpable homicide last month, gave little visible reaction as the sentence was handed down.

Judge Thokozile Masipa had ruled the Olympic and Paralympic athlete did not intend to kill his girlfriend when he fired through the bathroom door at his home in Pretoria.

"Having regard to the circumstances in the matter, I am of the view that a non-custodial sentence would send the wrong message to the community," she said.

"On the other hand, a long sentence would also not be appropriate either, as it would lack the element of mercy.

"What may appear to be justice to the general public may not be justice. Society cannot always get what they want."

She said Pistorius' skill using a gun was an aggravating factor but that she also recognised his remorse.

She said he "fired not one shot but four shots into the door" of a small cubicle "with no room for escape".

He was also handed a suspended three-year prison sentence for the discharging of a firearm, over an incident in which a gun accidentally went off in a restaurant.

Sentencing options available to her in the culpable homicide case included jail, a suspended sentence, a correctional supervision or fine.

One of the most sensational trials in the country's history, the sentence is expected to fuel further controversy about race and money in its justice system.

Pistorius' legal team argued during the marathon trial that he mistook Ms Steenkamp for an intruder and believed they were both in danger.

His lawyer Barry Roux said the athlete had "lost everything" after the 29-year-old model's death, and argued he should not go to prison.

He also said the 'Blade Runner' athlete, whose lower legs were amputated as a baby, would face particular difficulties in jail.

But state prosecutor Gerrie Nel had argued that only 10 years' imprisonment would satisfy the South African public.

He said that any lesser sentence could result in a widespread loss of faith in the justice system.


Barry and June Steenkamp reacted positively to the five-year sentence handed to Oscar Pistorius for the killing of their daughter.

Mrs Steenkamp expressed relief at the end of the trial, which has last seven months.

Defence counsel had suggested that Pistorius could be moved out of prison into house arrest after serving 10 months of his sentence.

When asked whether she was happy with this, Mrs Steenkamp said: "Doesn't matter he's going to pay something. I'm just glad it's over."

(Picture Credit: Getty Images)