Six-time Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius has been sentenced to six years in prison for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, it was announced today.
The South African had been facing 15 years in jail after he shot Steenkamp four times through a locked toilet door on Valentine's Day in 2013.
The verdict was delivered by South African High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa, who said there were “substantial and compelling reasons” not to imprison Pistorius for the amount of time the prosecution had called for.
A number of members of the Steenkamp family were in tears after Judge Masipa had delivered her ruling.
According to reports, the lawyer for the family thinks the judgement is "very fair", while there will be no appeal from Pistorius' defence team.
In an hour-long session, Judge Masipa agreed with Pistorius' belief that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder and that "he immediately took steps to save the deceased's life".
She said the mitigating factors outweighed the mitigating factors, which included the fact that Pistorius fired four times "knowing full well" someone was behind the door and that he opted to not fire a warning shot.
"Public opinion may be loud and persistent but it can play no role in the decision of this court," Masipa said.
"I am of the view that a long term in prison will not serve justice.
"The life of the accused shall also never be the same.
"He is a fallen hero and can never be at peace."
Pistorius, who was escorted directly to Khosi Mampuru prison in Pretoria following the verdict, could only serve half of his six-year term.
The decision of the Judge has sparked a strong reaction in South Africa, with many claiming the sentence was too lenient and that Pistorius benefitted from preferential treatment as he is a wealthy white man and a global celebrity.
The 29-year-old, who also competed at the London 2012 Olympic Games, was originally convicted of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, in 2014.
But he was found guilty of murder by an appeals court the following year, a crime which can carry a minimum sentence of 15 years in jail under South African law.
Pistorius was initially sentenced to five years and spent a year behind bars in Pretoria before being granted a public pardon and being released in October last year.
The news could provide the end to a trial which has captured the world's attention, with the decision representing a rapid fall from grace from the situation of four years ago, when Pistorius was preparing to become the first amputee to compete in an Olympic and a Paralympic Games.