Oscar Pistorius

South African Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius was sent to prison for six years on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, the latest twist in a trial that has gripped the world.

The state and large sections of the South African public had called for him to receive no less than the prescribed minimum 15-year sentence for murder, saying Pistorius had shown no remorse for the killing.

Judge Thokozile Masipa disagreed, accepting the defense's arguments for a lesser punishment.

"Public opinion may be loud and persistent but it can play no role in the decision of this court," Masipa said. "I am of the view that a long term in prison will not serve justice."

It was not clear whether the state would appeal the verdict.

Dressed in a dark suit, the 29-year-old stared straight ahead as Masipa read out the sentence.

Pistorius was found guilty of murdering Steenkamp by an appeals court last December. He had initially received a five-year sentence for a manslaughter conviction in 2014 handed down by Masipa, a ruling derided by women's groups as too lenient.

In her ruling on Wednesday, Masipa said that although the Steenkamp family had suffered great loss, Pistorius' life and career was also in ruins. (Reuters)

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Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts at his sentence hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius reacts at his sentence hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Longari/Pool

June and Barry Steenkamp react after the sentence hearing of Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria

June and Barry Steenkamp react after the sentence hearing of Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Masi Losi/Pool

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius leaves the court after his sentence hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius leaves the court after his sentence hearing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Marco Longari/Pool

Journalists crowd around a van believed to be carrying Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius after his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa

Journalists crowd around a van believed to be carrying Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius after his sentencing at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa, July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings

Oscar Pistorius reacts during the third day of his resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria

Oscar Pistorius reacts during the third day of his resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Alon Skuy/Pool

Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius walks across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of the resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at Pretoria High Court

Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius walks across the courtroom without his prosthetic legs during the third day of the resentencing hearing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at Pretoria High Court, South Africa June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko/File Photo

Judge Thokozile Masipa looks on during the resentencing hearing of Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius ,for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at Pretoria High Court,

Judge Thokozile Masipa looks on during the resentencing hearing of Paralympic gold medalist Oscar Pistorius ,for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at Pretoria High Court, South Africa June 15, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius is escorted by police officers as he arrives for his sentencing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria

Olympic and Paralympic track star Oscar Pistorius is escorted by police officers as he arrives for his sentencing for the 2013 murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, at North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa July 6, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Protesters carry placards during the sentencing of former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court

Protesters carry placards during the sentencing of former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court, South Africa June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Oscar Pistorius enters the dock at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing

Oscar Pistorius enters the dock at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, South Africa for a bail hearing, December 8, 2015. REUTERS/Herman Verwey/Pool

View of the prison cell occupied before the release on parole by Oscar Pistorius at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Pretoria

View of the prison cell occupied before the release on parole by Oscar Pistorius at the Kgosi Mampuru II Correctional Centre in Pretoria, December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Sydney Seshibedi TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY

Members of the women's league of the South African ruling party, the African National Congress, sing and dance in protest against Oscar Pistorius outside the appeals court in Bloemfontein on November 3, 2015

Members of the women's league of the South African ruling party, the African National Congress, sing and dance in protest against Oscar Pistorius outside the appeals court in Bloemfontein on November 3, 2015 (AFP Photo/Gianluigi Guercia)

June Steekamp attends an appeal by state prosecutors against South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius's conviction last year at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein

June Steekamp (C), Reeva Steenkamp's mother, attends an appeal by state prosecutors against South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius's conviction last year at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, November 3, 2015. Pistorius, freed on parole last month after serving a fifth of his prison term for killing his girlfriend, faces years more in jail if state lawyers can get his conviction scaled up to murder from culpable homicide. Prosecutors will argue before the Supreme Court that a high court judge was wrong to let Pistorius off the more serious charge after he fired four shots through a door on Valentine's Day 2013, killing Reeva Steenkamp. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Defence lawyer Barry Roux gestures before an appeal by state prosecutors against Pistorius's conviction last year at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein

Defence lawyer Barry Roux gestures before an appeal by state prosecutors against South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius's conviction last year at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, November 3, 2015. Pistorius, freed on parole last month after serving a fifth of his prison term for killing his girlfriend, faces years more in jail if state lawyers can get his conviction scaled up to murder from culpable homicide. Prosecutors will argue before the Supreme Court that a high court judge was wrong to let Pistorius off the more serious charge after he fired four shots through a door on Valentine's Day 2013, killing Reeva Steenkamp. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel reads a document before an appeal by state prosecutors against South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius's conviction last year at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel reads a document before an appeal by state prosecutors against South African paralympian Oscar Pistorius's conviction last year at the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein, November 3, 2015. Pistorius, freed on parole last month after serving a fifth of his prison term for killing his girlfriend, faces years more in jail if state lawyers can get his conviction scaled up to murder from culpable homicide. Prosecutors will argue before the Supreme Court that a high court judge was wrong to let Pistorius off the more serious charge after he fired four shots through a door on Valentine's Day 2013, killing Reeva Steenkamp. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Oscar Pistorius

A general view of the courtroom during a bid by Oscar Pistorius's defence team to challenge the prosecution's right to appeal the culpable homicide verdict handed down to Pistorius in 2014, in the Johannesburg High Court, March 13, 2015. Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for the lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013. (REUTERS/Kim Ludbrook)

Oscar Pistorius

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel speaks in court during a bid by Oscar Pistorius's defence team to challenge the prosecution's right to appeal the culpable homicide verdict handed down to Pistorius in 2014, in the Johannesburg High Court, March 13, 2015. Pistorius was sentenced to five years in prison for the lesser charge of culpable homicide, or manslaughter, for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February 2013. (REUTERS/Kim Ludbrook)

From the Files - Oscar Pistorius Due to be Released

Police crime scene tape marks off the Pretoria home of South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, in this February 14, 2013 file photo. Pistorius is due to be released on Friday after serving 10 months of a five-year sentence, in line with South Africa's custodial guidelines for non-dangerous prisoners. REUTERS/Andrea Ettwein/FilesFROM THE FILES PACKAGE "OSCAR PISTORIUS DUE TO BE RELEASED". SEARCH "PISTORIUS FILES" FOR ALL 20 IMAGES

From the Files - Oscar Pistorius Due to be Released

Oscar Pistorius of South Africa comes out of the starting blocks during his men's 400 metres heat at the IAAF World Championships in Daegu in this August 28, 2011 file photo. Pistorius is due to be released on Friday after serving 10 months of a five-year sentence, in line with South Africa's custodial guidelines for non-dangerous prisoners. REUTERS/Max Rossi/FilesFROM THE FILES PACKAGE "OSCAR PISTORIUS DUE TO BE RELEASED". SEARCH "PISTORIUS FILES" FOR ALL 20 IMAGES

From the Files - Oscar Pistorius Due to be Released

The body of model Reeva Steenkamp arrives at the Victoria Park Crematorium ahead of her memorial service in Port Elizabeth in this February 19, 2013 file photo. Oscar Pistorius is due to be released on Friday after serving 10 months of a five-year sentence, in line with South Africa's custodial guidelines for non-dangerous prisoners. REUTERS/Rogan Ward/FilesFROM THE FILES PACKAGE "OSCAR PISTORIUS DUE TO BE RELEASED". SEARCH "PISTORIUS FILES" FOR ALL 20 IMAGES

From the Files - Oscar Pistorius Due to be Released

Police crime scene tape marks off the home of South African "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria in this February 14, 2013 file photo. Pistorius is due to be released on Friday after serving 10 months of a five-year sentence, in line with South Africa's custodial guidelines for non-dangerous prisoners. REUTERS/Andrea Ettwein/FilesFROM THE FILES PACKAGE "OSCAR PISTORIUS DUE TO BE RELEASED". SEARCH "PISTORIUS FILES" FOR ALL 20 IMAGES

Barry Steenkamp, the father of Reeva Steenkamp is comforted by his wife June (L) during the sentencing of Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria, on October 15, 2014

Barry Steenkamp, the father of Reeva Steenkamp is comforted by his wife June (L) during the sentencing of Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria, on October 15, 2014 (AFP Photo/Antoine de Ras)

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