JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, Nov 3 – A South African appeals court on Friday more than doubled Paralympic champion Oscar Pistorius’ sentence for murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, bringing it up to 13 years and five months.
Here is a timeline of events following the shooting on Valentine’s Day in 2013, in a case that shocked the world.
– Shot four times –
February 14, 2013: Police arrest the Olympic and Paralympic sprinter for killing Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model, who was shot four times at his Pretoria home.
February 15: Pistorius bursts into tears as he is charged, denying murder “in the strongest terms”.
February 19: Pistorius claims in an affidavit he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder. He said he fired through a locked bathroom door, in what prosecutors term “premeditated” murder.
February 21: Global sportswear manufacturer Nike suspends its sponsorship contract with the athlete.
February 22: Pistorius is granted bail.
– The trial begins –
March 3, 2014: The trial opens in Pretoria before crowds of journalists from around the world, with the testimony of a neighbour who tells the court she heard “terrible screams” from a woman. Ten days later, Pistorius vomits when a picture of Steenkamp’s body is flashed on the court’s television screens.
April 7-15: Pistorius takes the stand and begins with a tearful apology to Steenkamp’s family. This is followed by five days of often intense cross-examination, marked by bouts of tears and breaks in the session. Pistorius steadfastly denies any intention to kill Steenkamp.
June 30: After a six-week break, a panel of three psychiatrists and a psychologist conclude Pistorius does not suffer from mental illness.
September 12: Judge Thokozile Masipa finds Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide or manslaughter.
October 21: The judge sentences him to a maximum of five years in jail. He is taken to Pretoria prison.
– Under house arrest –
October 20, 2015: Pistorius is allowed out of prison after just one year to spend the remainder of his sentence under house arrest.
December 3: The Supreme Court of Appeal convicts him of murder, saying his testimony was “vacillating and untruthful”.
December 8: Pistorius is released on bail pending sentencing, and remains under house arrest.
– ‘Shockingly lenient’ sentence –
March 2, 2016: Pistorius, now 29, loses his final bid to appeal his murder conviction.
July 6: He is sentenced to six years in jail for murder.
August 14: South African media reports say Pistorius is put on 24-hour suicide watch.
September 15: Prosecutors say they will petition the Supreme Court of Appeal for a tougher sentence for Pistorius, having described the six-year term as “shockingly lenient”.
November 14: Prison authorities say Pistorius has been transferred to a prison adapted for disabled inmates just outside Pretoria to serve the rest of his sentence.
– Jail term extended –
November 3, 2017: The appeal court adjourns to consider its ruling after prosecutors argue that Pistorius’ jail term is too short, while defence lawyers say the judge handed down a fair sentence.
November 24: The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein more than doubles Pistorius’ sentence of six years to 13 years and five months.