Oscar Pistorius found guilty of murder, heading back to prison

Para Olympic Champion Oscar Pistorius is facing at least 15 years behind bars

Para Olympic Champion Oscar Pistorius is facing at least 15 years behind bars

A South African appeals  court has found renowned Paralympian, Oscar Pistorius guilty of murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s day in 2013 overturning  an earlier verdict of manslaughter.

Thursday’s ruling comes less than 2 months after the 29 year-old “blade runner” was sentenced to house arrest after serving almost a year in prison of his 5 year prison sentence.

Pistorius will now be sentenced again and he faces at least 15 years in prison according to the South African law.

A young man overcomes huge physical disabilities to reach Olympian heights as an athlete. In doing so he becomes an international celebrity, he meets a young woman of great natural beauty and a successful model, romance blossoms, and then, ironically on Valentine’s Day, all is destroyed when he takes her life,” Judge Eric Leach said as he handed down the verdict adding “the case involved tragedy of Shakespearean proportions”

“It’s a big relief. I feel it’s a fair decision,” the late girlfriend’s father, Barry Steenkamp said after the verdict. Steenkamp family along with members of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League  who greeted the verdict with cheers, songs and dancing. Both the family and women rights activists in South Africa had expressed great disappointment at the earlier manslaughter outcome.

In overturning the earlier court ruling Justice Leach said the court had not correctly followed the law on whether or not Pistorius meant to kill when he fired four bullets in the toilet where his then girlfriend was hiding. His defence had claimed self-defence and that he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder.

Pistorius will remain under house arrest and on parole pending his sentence, analysts say the 29 year-old’s athletics’ career is all but over given his age and the length of his potential sentence.