Oscar Pistorius is facing 15-years behind bars after South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal threw out his manslaughter conviction and found him guilty of murder.
“Guilty of murder, with the accused having criminal intent,” judge Eric Leach told the court in a dramatic legal reversal.
Judge Leach told the court on Thursday the Paralympian’s testimony over the 2013 shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was untruthful and delivered a damning indictment of the original verdict.
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“It is inconceivable that a rational person thought he was entitled to fire at this person with a heavy-duty firearm,” said Leach, who described Pistorius’s testimony as “vacillating and untruthful”.
“He ought to have been convicted not of culpable homicide … but of culpable murder,” the judge added.
The National Prosecuting Authority confirmed that Pistorius, 29, will remain on parole under house arrest at his uncle’s mansion in the capital Pretoria until he is re-sentenced.
The double-amputee athlete known as the “Blade Runner” was released on parole in October after serving one year of his five-year prison sentence for the lesser charge of culpable homicide.
The trial of Pistorius, who became a global icon as the first double amputee to compete at the Olympics in 2012, attracted worldwide attention.
He denied killing Steenkamp, 29, in a rage after the couple had gone to bed, sobbing and occasionally vomiting in the dock as details of his lover’s death were examined in excruciating detail.
“I was overcome with fear,” he said during his trial last year, describing how he thought he heard an intruder in the bathroom.
Pistorius killed Steenkamp at the peak of his fame. He has since lost his glittering sports career, lucrative contracts and status as a global role model for the disabled.