Oscar Pistorius's sprint from prison ends this week

The former star athlete has exhausted all legal options and now faces being jailed for at least 15 years.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Oscar Pistorius's fate will be decided by the end of this week.

Updated Jun 15, 2016

Oscar Pistorius, who once inspired millions by running at the Olympics on artificial legs, is about to go to jail for the 2013 murder of his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

After exhausting all legal options to avoid prison, Pistorius could now face at least 15 years behind bars.

A pre-sentence hearing began today in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria with trial judge Thokozile Masipa on the bench.

The athlete was initially convicted of the lesser charge of culpable homicide after a widely-followed trial, and in 2014 was sentenced to only 5 years in prison, angering many.

During his trial, he testified he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder hiding in his bathroom and fired shots with his 9mm pistol in self-defence, fearing he might be attacked.

Masipa accepted part of Pistorius's story and he was given the lighter sentence based on the judge's ruling that he acted recklessly, but did not mean to kill Steenkamp.

After serving a year in jail, he was released on parole and has been living under house arrest at his uncle's mansion since October last year.

But following the initial verdict of culpable homicide, prosecutors appealed to South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal, saying that the former athlete should have been found guilty of murder.

In December last year, a panel of SCA judges agreed with the prosecutors and ruled Pistorius guilty of murder.

The SCA unanimously decided that it was in the best interest of justice with the evidence before them that the conviction of culpable homicide be changed to murder.

After losing at the SCA, Pistorius appealed for South Africa's highest court, the Constitutional Court, to review his case.

This request was dismissed in March this year, leaving Pistorius with no chance of escaping  murder conviction.

From hero to convict

Pistorius won multiple gold medals at two Paralympic Games.

He was given the title "Blade Runner" because of the carbon fiber prosthetic legs on which he ran.

The highest point in his career came at the 2012 Olympics when he sprinted alongside able-bodied athletes.

Steenkamp started dating Pistorius a few months before her murder, according to a BBC documentary.

It surfaced during the trial that at times Steenkamp felt scared of his bad temper.

TRTWorld and agencies