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Oscar Pistorius begins sentence hearing in Reeva Steenkamp murder case

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Oscar Pistorius arrived at court in the South African capital of Pretoria on Monday, for the start of a sentencing hearing which could see him face up to 15 years in prison for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The 29-year-old Paralympic athlete's original manslaughter conviction was overturned and changed to murder, but it's thought he could be jailed for just four years. Oscar has already spent 12 months in prison, has completed his community service and along with the fact he's a double leg amputee, it could mean he'll spend half of an eight-year stretch inside before being released on parole.


oscar1© Photo: Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius arrived in court today for the start of a week-long murder trial

It's expected that Oscar will receive a verdict on Friday following a week-long trial. Model Reeva was killed in 2013, after Oscar shot at her four times through a bathroom door – although he's always insisted he believed it was an intruder in their home.

Oscar's original manslaughter conviction – and five-year sentence – was upgraded to murder in December, after an appeal from the prosecution. During the trial this week judge Thokozile Masipa will hear from both the prosecution and the defence.

oscar2© Photo: Getty Images

He was originally sentenced to five-years for manslaughter following Reeva Steenkamp's death

Reeva's father Barry is expected to speak during the trial, and it's thought that Oscar will also testify. Experts believe many factors, including his "fragile mental health" will reduce Oscar's possible time in prison, but that a custodial sentence is almost unavoidable.

The Mirror also reports that some lawyers believe the reduced sentencing could be a "double-edged sword" for Oscar if he continues with his original story without accepting full guilt for Reeva's death.

After his original imprisonment, Oscar was released in October after serving almost a year, on the understanding that he completed the remainder of his sentence at his uncle's home in Pretoria. 

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