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Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts at his sentence hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts at his sentence hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Longari/Pool

Oscar Pistorius

Yahoo News

South African Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius was sent to prison for six years on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, the latest twist in a trial that has gripped the world.

The state and large sections of the South African public had called for him to receive no less than the prescribed minimum 15-year sentence for murder, saying Pistorius had shown no remorse for the killing.

Judge Thokozile Masipa disagreed, accepting the defense's arguments for a lesser punishment.

"Public opinion may be loud and persistent but it can play no role in the decision of this court," Masipa said. "I am of the view that a long term in prison will not serve justice."

It was not clear whether the state would appeal the verdict.

Dressed in a dark suit, the 29-year-old stared straight ahead as Masipa read out the sentence.

Pistorius was found guilty of murdering Steenkamp by an appeals court last December. He had initially received a five-year sentence for a manslaughter conviction in 2014 handed down by Masipa, a ruling derided by women's groups as too lenient.

In her ruling on Wednesday, Masipa said that although the Steenkamp family had suffered great loss, Pistorius' life and career was also in ruins. (Reuters)

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