Oscar Pistorius jail term for killing Reeva Steenkamp more than doubled

A South African appeals court has today increased the Paralympic athlete's jail sentence for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp from six years to 13 years and 5 months

A South African high court has increased Oscar Pistorius's prison sentence from six years to 13 years and five months, following his conviction in 2016 for the murder of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

Pistorius shot and killed Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013, firing four shots at her through a locked toilet door.

Pistorius claims in an affidavit he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder.

The State appealed the manslaughter conviction, and it was later replaced with murder and a sentence of six years behind bars.

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, South Africa, has now sentenced Pistorius to a minimum of 15 years for murder, as normally prescribed in South Africa. The earliest Pistorius will be eligible for parole is 2023.

The lengthened sentence was another twist in a protracted legal battle over the case. He was given six years of jail time for the killing.

The decision was briefly announced by the supreme court justice Willie Seriti, but there was a written judgment too. He shot her four times through the door of the bathroom, which was attached to his bedroom. "And he never offered an acceptable explanation for having done so".

Pistorius, 31, was not in court for the hearing.

Pistorius bursts into tears as he is charged, denying murder "in the strongest terms".

They noted he had apologized to Steenkamp's family, but that did not fulfill the court's requirements.

It's rare for the Supreme Court to change the sentences handed down by trial judges so dramatically.

The lawyers of Oscar Pistorius have one more option to challenge the ruling of the Supreme Court of Appeal. And again, they were successful, with the country's highest court of appeal agreeing on Friday to increase it.

The decision marked another step in the dramatic downfall of Pistorius, who became known as the "Blade Runner" and "the fastest man on no legs" for running on two blade-like prosthetics.

Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated because of a congenital defect, soared to global fame after becoming the first amputee to compete in the 2012 Olympic Games.

"Heartbroken. Gutted." A spokesman for the Pistorius family didn't answer calls from the AP.

"They feel there has been justice for Reeva. She can now rest in peace", Ms Koen said. "But at the same time, people must realize that people think this is the end of the road for them. the fact is they still live with Reeva's loss every day".