South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of “culpable homicide” at court in Pretoria.
The olympic and paralympic sprinter had been accused of killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year when he shot her four times through the door of their bathroom. Pistorius has always admitted shooting Steenkamp, but maintained that he mistook her for a burglar and did not intend to kill her.
As the verdict was read out over the space of two days, judge Masipa cleared him of both first and second degree murder, but this morning found him guilty of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, describing his actions as “negligent”.
The Telegraph reports: “Culpable homicide can be defined as killing someone but without direct intent either through recklessness or negligence.”
The athlete was also found guilty of negligence relating to an incident before he shot Steenkamp, when a gun went off in his possession at a restaurant in Johannesburg. The judge said that while Pistorius may not have intended to fire the weapon, that did not absolve him from the crime of negligence.
“He should not have asked for a firearm in a restaurant full of patrons,” she said as she declared that the State had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius was guilty of the charge.
He will be sentenced on a later date.