Oscar Pistorius Lands In Bigger Trouble

A South African court has increased Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius's jail sentence for killing his girlfriend to 13 years and five months.Prosecutors had argued that the six-year term for murdering Reeva Steenkamp was" shockingly
light".Ms Steenkamp's parents were "emotional" as they watched the ruling at home on TV, a spokeswoman said.

Oscar Pistorius claimed he shot dead Ms Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013 after mistaking her for a burglar.The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein has now given Pistorius the minimum 15 years prescribed for murder in South Africa, less time already served.

The lower court had justified the six-year sentence by citing mitigating circumstances such as rehabilitation and remorse. It said they outweighed aggravating factors such as his failure to fire a warning shot.There is huge relief here from the National Prosecuting Authority and from Ms Steenkamp's family and friends. Prosecutors are relieved because the earlier sentence of six years for murder could have set a precedent in future trials. The Pistorius family are devastated, as is the athlete himself.

The six-year sentence gave an impression of inconsistency. There have been fraud and corruption trials that led to 15-year sentences. It seemed lenient considering that the Paralympian fired four bullets into a bathroom door behind which there was an unarmed and frightened Ms Steenkamp.Oscar Pistorius, 31, was not in court to hear the decision.

He was initially given a five-year term for manslaughter in 2014, but was found guilty of murder on appeal in 2015.

culled from BBC