(Reuters) - South African Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius was sent back to jail for six years on Wednesday for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, less than half the 15 year minimum term sought by prosecutors.
It was unclear whether the state, which has two weeks to appeal, would accept Wednesday’s sentence.
Pistorius’ defense team said the athlete would be able to apply for parole after serving half to two-thirds of the sentence.
Following is a timeline of Pistorius’ life and murder trial:
- Born on November 22, 1986 in Johannesburg.
- Born without fibulas, Pistorius has both legs amputated below the knees before turning one.
- After learning to walk on prosthetic legs, he becomes a keen sportsman in high school, turning to sprinting in 2003.
- Running on carbon fiber prosthetic blades that earn him the nickname “Blade Runner”, Pistorius becomes a Paralympic gold medalist over 200m in Athens in 2004. He wins three gold medals at the Paralympics in Beijing in 2008.
- In what was hailed as a significant turning point for disabled athletes, Pistorius successfully wins the right to race against able-bodied runners at the London 2012 Olympics.
- Pistorius reaches the pinnacle of his fame in London 2012 when he becomes the first double amputee to run in the Olympics, reaching the 400m semi-finals, before taking two golds in the Paralympics.
- Pistorius is arrested and charged with murder on Valentine’s Day, 2013 after firing four shots through a locked bathroom door at his luxury Pretoria home, killing Steenkamp, a law graduate and model, almost instantly.
- Judge Thokozile Masipa convicts Pistorius of culpable homicide in September 2014 after a sensational seven-month trial. She also convicts him of firing a pistol under the table of a packed restaurant but clears him of illegal possession of ammunition and firing a pistol out of the sun-roof of a car.
- Pistorius starts his five-year jail sentence on Oct 21, 2014.
- Pistorius is released to house arrest on Oct. 19 2015 to serve the rest of his sentence under house arrest at his uncle Arnold’s home in a wealthy suburb of the capital, Pretoria.
- Supreme Court of Appeal overturns Masipa’s ruling in December and finds Pistorius guilty of murder based on the legal principle of ‘dolus eventualis’, arguing he should have foreseen the possibility of killing someone when he fired the shots.
- At sentencing hearings in June, Pistorius shuffles through court without his prosthetic legs to show the difficulty he faced dealing with the threat of an intruder.
- Masipa sends Pistorius back to jail for six years for murdering Steenkamp, less than half the 15 year minimum term sought by prosecutors.
Editing by James Macharia and Ed Cropley