Athletics

Oscar Pistorius convicted of murder by South Africa Court of Appeal

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Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been convicted of murder after a South African appeals court overturned an earlier conviction of manslaughter for his shooting of his girlfriend in February 2013.

The South African double amputee sprinter, who competed at the 2012 Olympics, killed Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013.

He insisted he thought she was an intruder behind a door in his home and was initially found guilty of culpable homicide, or manslaughter.

But that verdict which was amended by South Africa's Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein.

Five appeal judges ruled that the lower court did not correctly apply the rule of dolus eventualis - whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions - after the athlete armed himself with a powerful weapon.

Delivering the verdict on Thursday, Justice Eric Leach said: "As a result of the errors of law referred to and on a proper appraisal of the facts, he ought to have been convicted not of culpable homicide on that count, but of murder."

The case will be referred to a trial court for sentencing.

Justice Leach added: "The accused's conviction and sentence of count one are set aside and replaced with the following:

"Guilty of murder, with the accused having had criminal intent in the form of dolus eventualis.

"The matter is referred back to trial court to consider an appropriate sentence afresh in the light of the comments in this judgement."

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Topics:
Commonwealth Games
Athletics

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