A South African court has increased Oscar Pistorius’s jail sentence for killing his girlfriend to 13 years and five months which practically is more than double his previous sentence.
The 31-year-old shot and killed 29-year-old Ms Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013 when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet, claiming he had mistaken her for an burglar.
Prosecutors had argued earlier this month that Oscar Pistorius failed to show genuine remorse after killing his girlfriend and that the six-year term for murdering Reeva Steenkamp was “shockingly light”.
“One of the essential ingredients of a balanced sentence is that it must reflect the seriousness of the offence,” Andrea Johnson, of the National Prosecution Authority, told the court.
The lower court had justified the six-year sentence by citing mitigating circumstances like rehabilitation and remorse.
The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has now given him the minimum 15 years prescribed for murder in South Africa, less time already served.
It said they outweighed aggravating factors such as his failure to fire a warning shot.
The shamed Paralympic athlete now faces a return to a maximum security jail inundated with violent gangs, where he previously served a year in fear for his life.
A spokesman for Ms Steenkamp’s family said the ruling “verified there was justice in South Africa”.
Reeva Steenkamps tearful sister, Simone Cowburn sobbed after hearing the news of the new sentence, exclaiming: ‘Oh my God… is this true?
‘But it is what he deserved. He took my sister’s life and he should get life in prison.
‘This isn’t going to bring Reeva back. Nothing will, but he needs to understand what he has done.’
‘Nobody except Oscar knows what happened that night.
‘But we know the last three bullets were meant to kill her and for that he needs to serve a long time in jail.’
Ms Simone added: ‘This has torn apart my family and we will never be the same without Reeva. I’ll never be able to forgive him for what he did.’
Oscar Pistorius’ family have yet to make an official statement regarding the doubled sentence, but his brother Carl has tweeted saying: ”Shattered. Heartbroken. Gutted.’