Former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius has been released on bail under house arrest conditions ahead of his April 2016 sentencing for murdering girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The ruling at Bloemfontein Supreme Court of Appeal will mean Pistorius will be allowed to return to his uncle's home in Pretoria.

Pistorius had been staying at his uncle's home since being released from prison to serve out the remainder of his five-year sentence for his original conviction of culpable homicide, also known as manslaughter. That conviction for shooting dead Steenkamp at his home in February 2013 was upgraded to murder following an appeal by prosecutors.

Pistorius will now be under house arrest until his sentencing on 18 April, but will be allowed to leave the house between 7am and 12pm as long as he has written permission. He will not be allowed to travel outside of a 20km (12mi) radius of his uncle's home.

He must also hand over his passport and other travel documents and will be electronically monitored each time he leaves the home during the allowed five-hour period. Criminal lawyer Martin Hood earlier told AFP his bail conditions may not be "as stringent" as his house arrest conditions following his release from prison.

Pistorius faces a minimum 15-year jail term when he is sentenced in April. His lawyer announced he intends to appeal against his conviction to the constitutional court.

In his judgement to overturn his culpable homicide conviction, Judge Eric Leach described the case as a "human tragedy of Shakespearean proportions". He added: "In order to disturb the natural inference that a person intends the probable consequences of his actions, the accused was required to establish at least a factual foundation for his alleged genuine belief of an imminent attack upon him. This the accused did not do.

"Consequently, although frightened, the accused armed himself to shoot if there was someone in the bathroom and when there was, he did. In doing so he must have foreseen, and therefore did foresee that the person he was firing at behind the door might be fatally injured, yet he fired without having a rational or genuine fear that his life was in danger."

No one from Pistorius's family or from the family of Steenkamp were present during the hearing. Steenkamp's family previously described how Pistorius should have spent more than 10 months in prison for killing the South African model. In a statement, the family said: "We have forgiven Mr Pistorius even though he took the life of our precious daughter Reeva. As her family, we do not seek to avenge her death and we do not want Mr Pistorius to suffer; that will not bring her back to us.

"However a person found guilty of a crime must be held accountable for their actions. Statistics show that our society is under continuous attack from criminals and murderers. Incarceration of 10 months for taking a life is simply not enough. We fear that this will not send out the proper message and serve as the deterrent it should."