South African athlete Oscar Pistorius has been found guilty of culpable homicide – or negligent killing – after the judge found he killed his girlfriend by mistake.
Judge Thokozile Masipa said the athlete acted “negligently” when he fired shots through a toilet door, but in the “belief that there was an intruder”.
She said the state had failed to prove he intended to kill Reeva Steenkamp.
He was also found guilty on a charge of negligently handling a firearm that went off in a restaurant.
South Africa’s prosecuting authority said it was “disappointed” Pistorius was not convicted of murder but said it would wait until after sentencing to decide whether to appeal.
The verdict leaves the disgraced sprinter facing up to 15 years in jail, although legal experts suggest seven to 10 years is more likely when sentence is passed in a couple of weeks.
Many South Africans have questioned the judge’s decision to acquit him of murder and argue that the prosecution may have grounds to appeal.
For now, the Pistorius family seem relieved. But in the benches opposite them, friends and relatives of model Reeva Steenkamp wept, while others, including her mother June, seemed shell-shocked.