Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s verdict changed to murder

UPDATE - 3rd December 2015

The South African appeals court announced this morning that they have overturned an earlier manslaughter verdict and that Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. 

South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis - whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

Justice Lorimer Leach, reading the ruling reached by a panel of judges, stated that having armed himself with a high-calibre weapon, Pistorius must have foreseen that whoever was behind the door might die and that the identity of the person behind the door was irrelevant.

The gold medalist now faces a minimum sentence of 15 years. 

Pistorius is currently under house arrest and will return to court for sentencing. 


The double amputee sprinter, 27, admitted killing 29-year-old model, reality TV star and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp at his home in Pretoria, South Africa in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013.

Pistorius testified that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder when he opened fire on his bathroom door. Following his seven-month murder trial at Pretoria’s High Court, the South African athlete was acquitted but found guilty of culpable homicide, which is comparable to manslaughter.

Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius to five years in prison. He was also given a three-year suspended sentence for a separate unrelated firearms charge. Judge Thokozile Masipa delivered the ruling more than seven months after the Olympic runner's trial for killing Steenkamp started.

Oscar Pistorius’s uncle, Arnold Pistorius said to reporters outside the court, 'We accept the judgment. Oscar will embrace this opportunity to pay back to society,' which suggests the defence will not be appealing against the five-year sentence or the conviction for culpable homicide.

Following the ruling, BBC Sports Editor Dan Roen Tweeted, 'IPC confirm to me they will not allow Pistorius to run at any of their events including Rio Games for 5 yrs, even if he's released early.'