South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide after the judge had found he had killed his girlfriend by mistake. He has also been found guilty on the charge of handling a firearm “negligently” that went off in a restaurant.
Judge Thokozile Masipa had said that the athlete had acted “negligently” when he fired five shots through a toilet door but in the “belief that there was an intruder”.
According to a BBC correspondent witnessing the trial, Pistorius was said to have sat down, rubbed his face and slump forwards on hearing the verdicts, however there was a lack of emotion in the courtroom since everyone apparently knew it was coming.
The judge had agreed with the athlete’s denial of murdering Ms Steenkamp after an argument on Valentine’s Day last year, saying “it cannot be said that the accused did not entertain a genuine belief that there was an intruder.” But she also said:
“The accused know there was a person behind the toilet door, he chose to use a firearm. I’am of the view the accused acted too hastily and used too much force. It is clear his conduct is negligent.”
The maximum sentence Pistorius can face is 15 years in jail, however seven to 10 years is a much more likely outcome when the sentence is passed in a couple of weeks.