Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.
Pistorius stood and faced Judge Thokozile Masipa as she announced the sentence in a South African courtroom on Wednesday.
Pistorius was facing a possible 15-year jail term for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet cubicle door at his home in 2013, but Masipa said substantial and compelling circumstances existed in the double-amputee Olympic runner's case to give him a lesser sentence.
Steenkamp's parents, Barry and June, were present in the courtroom, which was packed with relatives of both Pistorius and Steenkamp and other observers.
In reading out the sentence, Judge Masipa said Pistorius was a "fallen hero."
The judge ordered a recess to give prosecutors and Pistorius' defense lawyers time to decide if either wanted to appeal the sentence.
Pistorius was freed from prison in the South African capital Pretoria last October after serving one year of a five-year term for culpable homicide — the equivalent of manslaughter.
But an appeals court upgraded the conviction to murder, which has a mandatory sentence of 15 years.
Pistorius, 29, shot Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day in 2013, claiming he mistook her for a burglar when he fired four times through the door of his bedroom toilet.
With inputs from agencies
First Published On : Jul 6, 2016 14:11 IST