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Oscar Pistorius sentenced to six years in prison for murder of Reeva Steenkamp

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Oscar Pistorius has received a six year jail sentence for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Addressing the court, Judge Thokozile Masipa said she felt there were "substantial and compelling reasons" not to give Oscar the prescribed 15 year minimum sentence for murder, including his rehabilitation and his "genuine remorse".

She stated that the athlete must serve a custodial sentence because his conviction had been upgraded from manslaughter to murder, but added: "I am of the view that a long term of imprisonment would not serve justice in this case."

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Oscar Pistorius hugged his sister and his brother after sentencing

The state had called for Oscar to receive no less that the 15 year minimum sentence. Judge Masipa told the court: "Public opinion may be loud and persistent, but it can play no role in the decision of this court." She described Oscar as a "fallen hero".

Immediately after her verdict was announced, Oscar hugged his tearful sister Aimee and brother Carl before he was taken down to the holding cells. There was no visible reaction from the Steenkamp family in the notably quiet courtroom.

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The athlete was then led down to the holding cells

The 29-year-old athlete shot Reeva in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013 after firing four times through a locked toilet door. He has always maintained that he believed he was shooting an intruder.

Oscar was initially jailed for five years for manslaughter in 2014, and was released from prison after a year to serve out the remainder of his sentence under house arrest. His conviction was later changed to murder after an appeal by the prosecution.