Oscar Pistorius's jail sentence increased to 13 years and five months


October 20, 2015: Pistorius is allowed out of prison after just one year to spend the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN.

A South African high court has increased Oscar Pistorius's prison sentence from six years to 13 years and five months, following his conviction in 2016 for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius claimed he mistook 29-year-old Ms Steenkamp for an intruder when he fired four bullets through the bathroom door in the early hours of 14 February 2013.

In a scathing judgment, written by Judge Willie Seriti, the SCA says a six-year sentence is "shockingly" lenient to the point of trivialising the crime.

Pistorius was once best known for winning gold at the 2004 Athens Paralympics and for successfully fighting to compete in the 2012 London Olympics alongside able-bodied runners.

"They feel there has been justice for Reeva.

Heartbroken. Gutted." A spokesman for the Pistorius family didn't answer calls from the AP.

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"The sentence imposed ... in respect of murder is set aside and substituted with the following: the respondent is sentenced to imprisonment for a period of 13 years and five months", the judge said.

It's rare for the Supreme Court to change the sentences handed down by trial judges so dramatically.

However, shortly after his release that year, Pistorius found was guilty of murder, irrespective of whoever was behind the door when he opened fire with a pistol he kept under his bed.

"But at the same time, people think this is the end of the road for them... the fact is they still live with Reeva's loss every day".

He was then sentenced to six years, despite that the usual minimum for murder is 15 years unless there are special circumstances.

Pistorius must serve at least half of the 13 years and five months - almost seven years - before he can be considered for parole. He was given six years of jail time for the killing.

In addition, she said, he had demonstrated remorse, apologizing to Steenkamp's parents in the courtroom, after they had refused to see him and accept his apology in person.