South African Olympic and Paralympic sprinter #oscar pistorius enters a police van after his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria October 21, 2014.
(Reuters) – Olympic and Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius started his five-year jail sentence on Tuesday for killing his girlfriend #reeva steenkamp, marking the end of a trial that has gripped #south africa and millions around the world.
As judge Thokozile Masipa gave her decision on the 27-year-old’s culpable homicide conviction, Pistorius, whose downfall has been likened to that of American football star O.J. Simpson, stood resolutely in the dock.
His only reaction was to wipe his eyes before two police officers led him to the holding cells beneath the High Court in the heart of the South African capital.
Ninety minutes later, an armored police vehicle carrying Pistorius – still dressed in dark suit, white shirt and black tie – left the building through a throng of reporters toward Pretoria Central Prison, where he is expected to serve his time.
Once the execution site for opponents of South Africa’s former white-minority government, the jail is now home to the country’s most hardened criminals, including the man known as “Prime Evil”, apartheid death squad leader Eugene de Kock.
Prisons officials said Pistorius, whose lower legs were amputated when he was a baby, would be housed in a separate and secure hospital wing of the massive complex.
In delivering her decision, 67-year-old Masipa stressed the difficulty of arriving at a decision that was “fair and just to society and to the accused”.