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Pistorius: from Olympic glory to six-year sentence

Published on 06/07/2016

Oscar Pistorius, the South African double-amputee sprinter who shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013, was sentenced on Wednesday to six years in prison.

In December, the country’s Supreme Court of Appeal threw out his earlier conviction of the lesser crime of culpable homicide, for which Pistorius had served one year of a five-year jail sentence.

Here is a snap­shot of events that began with the shooting on Valentine’s Day 2013.

– 2013 –

February 14 : Police arrest the double-amputee Olympic sprinter for killing Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, who was shot four times at his Pretoria home.

February 15 : Pistorius bursts into tears as he is charged, denying murder “in the strongest terms”.

February 19 : Pistorius claims in an affidavit he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. He fired through a locked bathroom door in what prosecutors term “premeditated” murder.

February 22 : Pistorius is granted bail.

– 2014 –

March 3 : The trial opens in Pretoria before an army of journalists from around the world, with the testimony of a neighbour who tells the court she heard “terrible screams” from a woman. Ten days later, Pistorius vomits when a picture of Steenkamp’s body is flashed on the court’s television screens.

April 7-15 : Pistorius takes the stand and begins with a tearful apology to Steenkamp’s family. This is followed by five days of often intense cross-examination, marked by bouts of tears and breaks in the session. Pistorius steadfastly denies any intention to kill Steenkamp.

June 30 : After a six-week break, a panel of three psychiatrists and a psychologist conclude that Pistorius does not suffer from mental illness.

September 12: Pistorius is found guilty of culpable homicide or manslaughter.

October 21 : Judge Thokozile Masipa sentences Pistorius to a maximum of five years in jail. The athlete is immediately taken to Pretoria prison.

– 2015 –

October 20: Pistorius is allowed out of prison after just one year to spend the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.

December 3 : The Supreme Court of Appeal convicts Pistorius of murder, saying his testimony was “vacillating and untruthful”.

December 8: Pistorius is released on bail pending sentencing, and remains under house arrest.

– 2016 –

January 11: Pistorius makes last-ditch attempt with South Africa’s top court to overturn his murder conviction.

March 2: Pistorius loses his final bid to appeal his murder conviction.

July 6: He is sentenced to six years in jail for the murder.