Pistorius to appeal increased sentence at South Africa’s highest court

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JOHANNESBURG, Dec 19 – Jailed South African track star Oscar Pistorius will appeal against his increased prison sentence of 13 years and five months at South Africa’s Constitutional Court, Eye Witness News reported on Tuesday.

South Africa’s Supreme Court more than doubled Oscar Pistorius’ murder sentence last month, accepting prosecutors’ argument that the original jail term of six years for shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was “shockingly lenient”.

Pistorius’ family spokesman was not available to comment.

Legal analysts have said Pistorius could appeal to the Constitutional Court, South Africa’s topmost legal authority, but saw his chances of success as slim.

The gold medal-winning athlete, a double amputee known as the “Blade Runner” for his carbon-fibre prosthetics was given the minimum 15 years prescribed for murder by the Supreme Court, reduced to 13 years and five months, taking into account time served.

The athlete was jailed in July last year after being found guilty on appeal of murdering model and law graduate Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013 by firing four shots through a locked bathroom door.

Rights groups in a country beset by high levels of violent crime against women say Pistorius, 31, received preferential treatment compared to non-whites and those without his wealth or celebrity status.

Although in jail, Pistorius has remained in the news. He suffered a bruise in a fight with another inmate after spending too long on a phone call, a prison spokesman said.

-(Reuters)