Oscar Pistorius granted bail pending sentencing in April 2016

By (Follow on Twitter @ athleticsafrica)

South African double-amputee sprinter Oscar Pistorius has been granted bail on the provision he surrenders his passport and wears an electronic tag while he awaits sentencing for the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in 2013.

Judge Aubrey Ledwaba, the Deputy Judge President for the region, said , who is currently under house arrest at his uncle’s Arnold home in Pretoria, has proven he is not a flight risk.

The judge said it would “not be in the interests of justice” for the athlete to be banned from leaving his house at all. He also extended Pistorius’ right to leave in the mornings, allowing him to leave in the afternoons with the permission of the police.

Pistorius, 28, was released on parole just one year into his five year sentence for culpable homicide in the killing of the model on St Valentine’s Day in 2013, but judges at South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal changed his conviction from manslaughter to murder last week.

In a supreme court ruling that overturned a culpable homicide conviction, Justice Eric Leach, reading the ruling on behalf of a five-judge bench unanimous in its verdict, said: “As a result of the errors of law … and on a proper appraisal of the facts, [Pistorius] ought to have been convicted not of culpable homicide on that count but of murder.

“In the interests of justice the conviction and the sentence imposed in respect thereof must be set aside and the conviction substituted with a conviction of the correct offence.”

The judges said Pistorius’s evidence and explanations for killing Steenkamp were implausible and that he had never offered an acceptable explanation for firing four times through a closed door.

Oscar Pistorius also known on the track as the Blade Runner, now faces a minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment, if he fails in a bid to overturn his conviction.

He intends to appeal the conviction at South Africa’s highest tribunal, the Constitutional Court.

His Bail was set at 10,000 Rand ($700, £450) and all the parties are to return to court for an update on the Constitutional Court process by April 18, 2016.