by: michael eli dokosi
The verdict comes after his initial five-year conviction for manslaughter was changed to murder last December after the prosecution appealed.
Pistorius, 29 is believed to have shot Reeva Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door in February 2013 although the man who lost both legs as child claims he mistook her for an intruder and acted out of fear.
In an hour-long session, Judge Thokozile Masipa said mitigating circumstances, such as rehabilitation and remorse, outweighed aggravating factors for deviating from the prescribed 15-year sentence for murder.
Pistorius who has already served one year in jail appeared in court dressed in a dark suit with Ms Steenkamp’s parents, Barry and June also in session to hear the new verdict.
The courtroom was packed with journalists and observers as was many who monitored proceedings keenly but have expressed shock at Oscar Pistorius’s sentence taking to social media to express their unhappiness, with some describing the prison term as an insult.
Outside court, legal experts said the sentence was too little. “The judge was sympathetic and empathetic to Pistorius. It was clear in the tone of her entire judgement,” one said.
Barry Steenkamp later told the BBC he was pleased that the trial was over even though life would never be the same again.
The six-time Paralympic gold medallist made history by becoming the first amputee sprinter to compete at the Olympics, in 2012 in London, running on prosthetic “blades”.