Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide - the equivalent of manslaughter - and could go to prison for 15 years!

It’s the trial that has gripped the world for the past few months. Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was accused of the murder of his beautiful model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 14 February 2013.

Model and law graduate Reeva, 29, had been dating Oscar for just three months when she was shot through a toilet door four times at Oscar‘s home in Pretoria, South Africa.

A grief-stricken Oscar claimed he mistook her for an intruder and didn’t intend to kill her. But the prosecution said he shot the model after a heated row.

The trial has drawn worldwide attention. They were South Africa’s more glamorous celebrity couple because of Oscar‘s status as a sporting hero and Reeva‘s modelling career and reality TV show.

Oscar, 27, who had both legs amputated below the knee when he was just 11 months old due to a medical condition, became a worldwide phenomenon, after winning gold medals at the 2012 Paralympics and became the first amputee to compete alongside able-bodied athletes in the Olympics too.

Here’s what you need to know about the Oscar Pistorius trial…

The Verdict

Oscar was found guilty of culpable homicide, the South African equivalent of manslaughter, after being found not guilty of Reeva‘s murder.

Why not murder?

Judge Thokozile Masipa said Oscar could not be convicted of premeditated murder because the evidence had not proved he had planned to kill Reeva. Oscar‘s defence claimed he thought Reeva was in the bed when he heard a noise in the bathroom. He shot through the door four times, but discovered he had mistaken Reeva for an intruder when he returned to the bedroom and she wasn’t there.

Other charges

Oscar was found guilty of firing a gun in a restaurant but cleared of another count of discharging a weapon in a public place. He was also acquitted of possessing ammunition for an unlicensed firearm.

Will he go to jail?

Oscar is on bail until 13 October when he will be sentenced. The charge of culpable homicide carries a maximum sentence of 15 years and the charge of firing a gun in a restaurant could add another five years. Oscar may, however, received a suspended sentence and not face any time in prison.

Donna McConnell