Former American football star OJ Simpson has been handed a 15-year sentence today for his involvement in an armed robbery.

In October, the 61-year-old was convicted of 12 charges arising from a failed attempt to recover sporting memorabilia, including armed robbery and conspiracy to kidnap.

Simpson and his co-defendant Clarence CJ Stewart have been in custody in Las Vegas since their conviction over the 2007 incident and faced a mandatory prison sentence of between six years and life.

The former American football star will be eligible for parole in six years.

Simpson's conviction came 13 years to the day he was acquitted of the murder of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1995 in what was called "the trial of the century".

Prosecutors are thought to have lobbied for a 18-year sentence before judge Jackie Glass imposed the jail term on Friday.

But defence attorney Gabriel Grasso - whose client would not address the court - had said the former NFL star should be given a six-year sentence as a "first-time offender".

"Such a sentence would be a sufficient reflection of both the nature of the case as well as the first-time offender status of the defendant," he was quoted by the Reuters news agency as saying.

Stewart's representative said a six-year sentence would be the "best-case scenario".

"That's the bottom-end number before being eligible for parole," Brent Bryson added.

Judge Glass had earlier denied a motion from Simpson's defence that he be released on bail pending an appeal.

On Tuesday, she will sentence Simpson and Stewart's four former co-defendants who took plea deals and testified against the pair.

05/12/2008 19:19:29