Oscar Pistorius' jail term lengthened to 13 years

South-Africa, court

Oscar Pistorius had no appreciation for the gravity of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and displayed a lack of remorse, the Supreme Court of Appeal found before unanimously increasing his sentence to 13 years and five months imprisonment.

The State had appealed to the court against the leniency of the initial six-year jail sentence.

In 2013, Pistorius fired gunshots through the door of a locked bathroom, killing Steenkamp. Claiming he mistook his girlfriend for an intruder, he was initially convicted of manslaughter.

He received a six-year sentence for this original conviction. An appeals court changed that verdict to murder in December 2015, according to the BBC.

Tania Koen, a spokeswoman for the Steenkamp family, said: "This is an emotional thing for them". Pistorius was sentenced to five years for culpable homicide in 2014.

The new sentence was backdated to start on the day he began his murder sentence, on July 6 a year ago.

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Judge Masipa ruled that although the Steenkamps had suffered a great loss, Pistorius' life and career were also in ruins. There is no death penalty in South Africa.

Technically, Pistorius should be eligible for parole after serving half of his jail term.

Pistorius' lawyers have just one avenue open to them if they want to challenge the new sentence handed down by the Supreme Court, and that is to appeal to the Constitutional Court, the highest court in South Africa. Investigators nearly immediately presented a different version of events, as neighbors heard a loud quarrel in Pistorius' house and called the police two hours before the tragedy.

The minimum sentence for murder in South Africa is 15 years, but individual judges can lower the sentence if there are "substantial and compelling" reasons to do so.

Oscar Pistorius sits in the dock during his sentencing hearing at North Gauteng High Court on June 13, 2016 in Pretoria.

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