Got a TV Licence?

You need one to watch live TV on any channel or device, and BBC programmes on iPlayer. It’s the law.

Find out more
I don’t have a TV Licence.


  1. Judge gives five-year prison sentence to Oscar Pistorius for the shooting of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp
  2. He was found guilty of culpable homicide in September but cleared of murder
  3. Steenkamp family say they are satisfied with the sentence
  4. The defence had argued for house arrest, saying he would be vulnerable in prison
  5. Pistorius, a Paralympic athletics champion, killed Ms Steenkamp at his home on 14 February 2013
  6. All times in BST (one hour ahead of GMT)

Live Reporting

By Sean Fanning, Neil Arun and Richard Irvine-Brown

All times stated are UK

  1. Thank you and goodbye

    That wraps our live coverage of the sentencing of Oscar Pistorius. The BBC News website will keep you up to date with what happens next.

    Thanks for staying with us. We leave you with this image of the South African athlete, beginning his journey from the courtroom to the prison cell.

    Oscar Pistorius leaving court
  2. Post update

    Karen Cooper emails: Frankly this is better than expected, bearing in mind the defence argued for house arrest and community service - for taking a life - but the lines were always going to be blurred by the standards we apply in the UK.

    Edward Winfield emails: A lot of comments on the leniency. Perhaps the prosecution just didn't do enough and this is not the fault of Judge Masipa?

    Ekong emails: This is one of the most ridiculous and lenient sentencing I have ever come across. The gravity of the offence has not been taken into consideration but rather technicalities. An innocent woman died in the hands of a reckless, angry, power drunk and gun-toting killer and yet he will be discharged after a few months of being in jail.

  3. Post update

    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

    Josh Hoy tweets: @BBC_HaveYourSay So many people putting in their pennies' worth, truth is no one truly knows what happened #OscarTrial

  4. A snapshot of South African justice

    For many people outside South Africa, the Pistorius case provided a fascinating insight into the post-apartheid justice system. Judge Masipa has helped shape our perception of the country's courts.

    The BBC's Andrew Harding recently quoted her on his blog, discussing what lies ahead for South Africa: "I think we're going somewhere. We still have a long way to go, obviously, but... we're making a difference. It's a tough place to be, because for a long time it was only men who sat here.

    "And in our culture it's even tougher because some men are just not used to seeing women giving orders. So it's tough, but, you know, one gets used to it."

    Judge Masipa
  5. Post update

    TMG Oscar tweets: So Oscar will spend his 28th birthday (November 22) behind bars

  6. Paralympics 'is not just Pistorius'

    The BBC's Chris Mitchell has been speaking to Craig Spence of the International Paralympic Committee.

    Mr Spence said Pistorius had done a lot for the Paralympic movement - but the movement "was about more than just one athlete", as shown by the London 2012 Games.

    "I don't think [the Pistorius case] damages the Paralympic movement at all," he said. "Oscar was the poster boy following the Beijing Games, but at London 2012, Oscar only won one gold medal, there were others who stole the headlines, Peacock, Oliveira, van Rhijn, McFadden. Those are the names that are grabbing the headlines around the world. We want the headline makers to be those athletes that are winning medals."

    Pistorius at Beijing Paralympics
  7. Post update

    Nomsa Maseko

    BBC News, Pretoria

    The BBC's Nomsa Maseko says that Pistorius has arrived at Pretoria's Kgosi Mampuru prison. He will be given a prison number there, have his fingerprints taken and his clothes taken away. He will have to wear the orange overalls that all inmates wear.

  8. Get involved

    Eleanor Larkin emails: Pistorius did something dangerous with full knowledge that death was a possible consequence. Five years is not proportionate to the offence.

  9. Post update

    South African writer and columnist Pinky Khoabane tweets: Frankly Im shocked Pistorius is going to prison albeit for 8mths. Our courts have been very lenient on white killers.

  10. ANC Women's League tweets concerns

    More on those strong objections to the trial outcome from the Women's League of the African National Congress (ANC), South Africa's governing party. It has taken to Twitter to voice outrage over the Pistorius sentencing. The organisation seems to be pushing for a tougher conviction.

    #ANCWL has consistently campaigned for harsh sentences in all cases of violence against women and children... Statistics indicate that a woman is killed in every eight (8) hours in South Africa... This situation is abnormal & should be unacceptable to every citizen... we would want to see this verdict being expunged as a precedent setting case in our statutes."

  11. Flowers and a sick bucket

    How will you remember the Pistorius trial? Aislinn Laing, Southern Africa Correspondent for the Daily and Sunday Telegraph, has tweeted this evocative picture of the bench where Oscar Pistorius sat - empty now, but for a bunch of roses and a sick bucket.

  12. Your reactions

    Jennifer emails: I think Judge Masipa did an excellent job throughout the trial, she was committed throughout in ensuring the two people and their families involved in the tragic affair saw justice. South Africa should be proud to have Judge Masipa. I feel terribly for both families and particularly for the parents of Reeva Steenkamp, no parent would wish to experience their grief.

    Roy emails: Utter injustice. Extreme weakness shown by Judge Masipa, both in her decision to find Pistorius not guilty of murder and the length of the sentence due to the high profile of the defendant. If the defendant were an ordinary black person having shot a white person, would he be able to walk free after 10 months?

  13. Post update

    Mandy Wiener, a journalist for Eyewitness News, tweets: It is going to take some time for the country to digest that image of Oscar Pistorius, a prisoner in custody, being led to a police car.

  14. Your reactions

    Paul Taylor emails: May not be part of S African Law but he should be banned from owning firearms. If nothing else he has proved he is irresponsible with them!!

  15. Pistorius 'ready to pay back to society'

    Pistorius' uncle Arnold has just spoken to reporters outside court, saying he is satisfied with the sentence: "Oscar will embrace this opportunity to pay back to society. I appeal to all of you as the media to accept the ruling of the court. After 20 months of relentless public trial, I would ask you, ladies and gentlemen of the media, to let us move forward in this process and give us some degree of dignity and privacy as we do so."

    "As a last word, I want to say something as an uncle. I hope Oscar will start his own healing process as you walk down the path of restoration. As a family, we are ready to guide and support Oscar as he serves his sentence."

  16. Pistorius taken from court after sentencing

    Pistorius boards a police van after being sentenced
  17. Anger at the ANC Women's League

    The Women's League of the African National Congress, South Africa's governing party, wants the state to appeal against the verdict of culpable homicide handed down in September.

    It thinks he should have been convicted for murder, spokeswoman Edna Molewa said in a statement quoted by The Citizen.

    "An appeal in this case is in the interest of the judicial system and the general public," she was quoted as saying.

    In September, a South African minister - who is also the president of the ANC Women's League - criticised Pistorius's conviction.

    Minister of Basic Education Angie Motshekga told the BBC she thought the judgement was "based on technicalities, not on facts".

    She said she believed ordinary women in the country will not feel that the law protects them.

  18. Pistorius cannot 'compete for five years'

    Dan Roan

    BBC sports editor

    The International Paralympic Committee says Oscar Pistorius will not be allowed to run at any of their events for five years - even if he is released early.

    That rules him out of the next Olympics - due to be held in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.

    Pistorius would only be 33 in 2020 for Tokyo Games. Justin Gatlin, the fastest man in world this year, is 32.

  19. Your reactions

    Floyd Brissett emails: I think Oscar got off very lightly. Five years in prison is not enough, when you consider that Reeva had not done anything to justify her being shot dead.

    Charlie Sandford emails: Think it was the right sentence for Oscar Pistorius, not an easy decision for the judge, no one was going to like the sentence regardless. Feel for both sides, both Oscar and his family, and Reeva's family and friends.

  20. Have your say

    Kevin & Celia email: Fair! Well done Judge Masipa. Heart bleeds for Oscar and Steenkamps.

  21. Your reactions

    Nigel emails: This creates a very poor impression of the value placed on a life by the South African judicial system. If the verdict had onlookers scratching their heads, the prospect of Pistorius being out in ten months is very disturbing.

  22. Prosecution 'undecided' on appeal

    The spokesman for South Africa's state prosecuting authority says it is undecided on whether to appeal against Oscar Pistorius's conviction for culpable homicide.

    "We are at this point going to consider whether to appeal the matter or not, there is a lot to consider," Nathi Mncube said. "At this point the decision whether to appeal or not has not been taken."

  23. Pistorius greets family members as he is taken from court

    Oscar Pistorius leaving court, 21 October 2014
  24. Post update

    Nomsa Maseko

    BBC News, Pretoria

    Within six hours of being taken into custody, Pistorius will be evaluated in the hospital wing of the prison to decide which side of the jail he will be staying in, based on his disability.

  25. Your reactions

    Fuad emails: Oscar Pistorius will get his life back after few years. He will recover all his legal costs by selling his story. Reeva did not get a justice.

  26. Get involved

    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

    Keeley Howell : This trial is a joke, any ordinary member of the public would have been banged to right by now #powerhungarytrial @BBC_HaveYourSay

  27. Your reactions

    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

    L Buckland : 2 lonely figures: #Pistorius & Judge Masipa:eyes & ears of the world are on both. Gd summary: justice must be seen 2b done. @BBC_HaveYourSay

  28. Post update

    Andrew Harding

    Africa correspondent

    tweets: Just spoke to Barry and June Steenkamp. Both happy with sentence and relieved it is over. Am told Pistorius will be released after 10 months

  29. Pistorius 'is in holding cells'

    Nomsa Maseko

    BBC News, Pretoria

    Oscar Pistorius is no longer a free man. He has been separated from his legal team and family. The "blade-runner" is now in the holding cells here at the North Gauteng High Court. He will possibly be transferred to Pretoria Central Prison, now known as Kgosi Mampuru II.

    Public opinion outside the court building was varied. Some believe the athlete got a lighter sentence, saying it sends the wrong message to society, in light of an increase in domestic violence cases in the country. Others thought the sentence was fair.

  30. Oscar Pistorius after sentence is handed down

    Oscar Pistorius, 21 October 2014
  31. Reeva Steenkamp's mother listens in court

    June Steenkamp, mother of Reeva, 21 October 2014
  32. BreakingBreaking News

    June Steenkamp, mother of Reeva Steenkamp, says justice has been served. Asked as she left court about Pistorius's sentence for killing her daughter, she replied: "It doesn't matter, he's going to pay something."

  33. Post update

    The sentencing hearing is over and the court is gradually emptying out. Judge Masipa has thanked everyone for their conduct.

  34. Post update

    Andrew Harding

    Africa correspondent

    tweets: #OscarPistorius walks round to stairs behind him. No expression. Shakes hand with Uncle Arnold, and disappears down into the cells.

  35. Have your say

    Rahat Hussain emails: I believe Oscar got off very lightly with his sentence.. However he does look like a broken man, only he knows what truly happened that night.

  36. Post update

    Karin Giannone

    BBC News

    tweets: Experts: #OscarPistorius will need to serve at least 1/6th of the 5 year term before being considered for home detention

  37. Have your say

    Rob Allan emails: I think all things considered the judge has got the sentence about right.

  38. Post update

    Here are the exact words from Judge Masipa that settled the fate of Oscar Pistorius:

    "Mr Pistorius, please rise.... The following is what I consider to be a sentence that is fair and just both to society and to the accused: Count 1 - culpable homicide, the sentence imposed is a maximum imprisonment of five years, imposed in terms of section 276/1I of the Criminal Procedure Act Number 51 of 1977."

  39. Post update

    Judge Masipa delivers her sentence
  40. Post update

    Andrew Harding

    Africa correspondent

    tweets: Absolute silence in court. no sign of reaction from #OscarPistorius family. Must have been what they expected.

  41. BreakingBreaking News

    Judge Masipa sentences Pistorius to five years imprisonment on the first count. On another count - a firearms offence - he is sentenced to three years, suspended.

  42. Post update

    Judge Masipa rules out both a non-custodial sentence - and a long sentence. One would be inappropriate, the other would be unmerciful.

  43. Crowds outside the court in Pretoria

    Crowds listening to Pistorius sentencing
  44. Have your say

    Philip Evans emails: Seems like the judge is leaning towards a custodial sentence, 10 years minimum would be appropriate.

    Ellen Pengelly emails: One year, two years, 10 years - it pales into insignificance with Reeva's sentence - eternity - and she was innocent.

  45. Contact BBC Have Your Say

    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

    Andy : @BBC_HaveYourSay I feel sorry for #OscarPistorius wanting to defend himself in his house b/c of his disability,but trial has been too long

  46. Post update

    Judge Masipa: The degree of negligence is such in this matter that the sentence suggested by defence witnesses - calling for house arrest - would not be suitable.

  47. Post update

    Having discussed the similarities between the earlier case, Judge Masipa now goes into the differences. "In the Vorster case, the aim was to frighten away the intruder, in the present case, the aim was to shoot the intruder."

  48. Post update

    Barry Bateman, Eyewitness News senior reporter, tweets: #OscarTrial Masipa: in that particular case, the individual was sentenced to correctional supervision for 3 years.

  49. Post update

    Judge Masipa going into some detail describing an earlier case with similarities to this one - the mistaken shooting of a child.

  50. Post update

    David Smith, Africa correspondent for The Guardian, tweets: #Pistorius, in dark suit and white shirt, fidgets in the dock as Masipa describes an old case.

  51. Post update

    Judge Masipa: "Sentencing is about achieving the right balance or, in more high-flown terms, proportionality. The elements at play are the crime, the offender, the interests of society, with different nuance: prevention, retribution, reformation and deterrence."

  52. Get involved

    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

    Hamish Mullen : @BBC_HaveYourSay Could the sentencing for #OscarPistorius be any slower? Th trial was well covered, we all know the facts. Get to it, Judge!

  53. Post update

    The judge begins her conclusion.

  54. Oscar Pistorius arriving at court this morning

    Oscar Pistorius at court
  55. Post update

    Emma Sadlier, South African social media lawyer

    tweets: Everyone outside court gripped by Judge Masipa. Even the ever-persistent car guards are huddled around the TVs #OscarPistorius

  56. Post update

    Alex Mitchley, reporter, The Citizen

    tweets: Masipa hitting hard, sounded like a murder trial for a while there.

  57. Post update

    Karin Giannone

    BBC News

    tweets: Judge: There was no room for escape for the person behind the door #OscarPistorius

  58. Post update

    Andrew Harding

    Africa correspondent

    tweets: Judge stresses fact that #OscarPistorius had been trained in gun handling calling that "very aggravating" factor.

  59. Get involved

    Tweet @BBC_HaveYourSay

    Max Voegtli : With so many people watching the #PistoriusTrial, Im so glad im not the judge. Tough call. @BBC_HaveYourSay I think 10 years is harsh though

  60. Post update

    Judge Masipa makes a striking comparison with a case where a pregnant woman may need to be sent to jail. She argues that even in such a case, however vulnerable the individual, jail would be ordered if that is what the crime demanded. The prison system would be expected to provide for such a person.

  61. Post update

    Judge Masipa says Pistorius's powerful coping skills have been "obscured" in favour of highlighting his vulnerability - and that this made her feel "uneasy".

  62. Post update

    Judge Masipa says it would be wrong for it to seem as if there was one law for the rich and another for the poor in this country.

  63. Post update

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC News, Pretoria

    tweets: Oscar Pistorius looks completely like a broken man. Looking straight faced to the judge as if looking into space.

  64. Post update

    Judge Masipa says it became apparent that the concern was not just about the disability of the accused - but that he would also need treatment for his trauma in jail.

  65. Post update

    Neal Collins, South African football columnist

    tweets: Masipa says #oscar struggled on his stumps. Not in that "pre-evidence" video he didn't.

  66. Post update

    Andrew Harding

    Africa correspondent

    tweets: Judge called evidence "slapdash" and ruled that it undermined Mrs Vergeer's testimony. Big blow to #OscarPistorius defence.

  67. Post update

    Siyabonga Mhlanga

    tweets: Patiently waiting outside the Supreme Court with Spectators. #OscarSentencing

  68. Post update

    Judge Masipa is scathing in her criticism of Ms Vergeer, a witness for the defence.

  69. Post update

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC News, Pretoria

    tweets: Masipa repeats that defence counsel said a suitable sentence would be a non custodian sentence. I was not impressed by Mrs. Vergeer.

  70. Post update

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC News, Pretoria

    tweets about the judge's description of Pistorius. Masipa: Is currently not employed. No previous convictions. Parents divorced when he was six years old. Mother passed away when he was 15.

  71. Post update

    Judge Masipa moves on to the personal circumstances of the accused.

  72. Post update

    Judge Masipa describes Kim Martin's reaction to first hearing that Pistorius had killed his girlfriend: "In vain she prayed and hoped it would not be the deceased."

  73. Post update

    Judge Masipa is discussing the evidence for the prosecution presented by Kim Martin, Ms Steenkamp's cousin. "Family was important to the deceased," says the judge.

  74. Post update

    Milton Nkosi

    BBC News, Pretoria

    tweets: Judge moves to evidence given by Mr. Maringa from the department of Correctional Services who testified for the defence.

  75. Post update

    Andrew Harding

    Africa correspondent

    tweets: And again... sentencing is "imprecise" says Judge Masipa, knowing her decision will never please everyone. #OscarPistorius

  76. Post update

    Judge Masipa starts off by going over the evidence presented by the defence. She begins by discussing the testimony of Dr Harzenberg, Pistorius's psychologist.

  77. Post update

    Andrew Harding

    Africa correspondent

    tweets: Judge says finding appropriate sentence is "a challenge since... it's not a perfect exercise." #OscarPistorius

  78. Post update

    Judge Masipa: "The appropriate sentence as determined by a trial judge need not be the only appropriate sentence."

  79. Post update

    Oscar Pistorius arrives in court
  80. Post update

    Karin Giannone

    BBC News

    tweets: #OscarPistorius surrounded by huge crowds outside court

  81. Post update

    Pistorius has arrived at Pretoria High Court.

  82. Welcome

    Welcome to our live coverage of the sentencing of the South African athlete, Oscar Pistorius.

    Pistorius was convicted in September of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp - but cleared of murder.

    Judge Thokozile Masipa is to rule on whether he should go to jail - as demanded by the prosecution.