South African double-amputee Olympic runner and athlete, Oscar Pistorius was today handed a prison sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa on Wednesday, July 6 sentenced Oscar Pistorius to six years in prison for the murder of girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

AFP reports that Pistorius was facing a possible 15-year jail term for shooting Steenkamp through a toilet cubicle door at his home in 2013, but Masipa said substantial and compelling circumstances existed in the double-amputee Olympic runner's case to give him a lesser sentence.

The parents of Reeva Steenkamp, Barry and June, were present in the courtroom, which was packed with relatives of both Pistorius and Steenkamp and other observers.

While reading the sentence, Judge Masipa said Pistorius was a "fallen hero." The judge ordered a recess to give prosecutors and Pistorius' defense lawyers time to decide if either wanted to appeal the sentence.

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