Psychologists watch Pistorius closely

2014-04-13 15:00

As Oscar Pistorius testifies, he is being observed by two psychologists – but unlike at the height of his Olympic fame, they are not interested in what makes him a champion.

One watches for signs of a breakdown, the other to determine whether he is lying.

His own psychologist – Dr Lore Hartzenberg – is always on hand to comfort Pistorius after a particularly agonising time in the witness box.

During his anguished sobbing on the stand on Tuesday, she was part of the family group that led him away from the courtroom, where his tormented wailing could still be heard from the hallway.

Pistorius appears to be a very different person before and after a lunch break. It’s been suggested that this is when his psychologist counsels him back from breaking point.

Then we have Major Bronwyn Stollarz, a clinical psychologist from the police’s investigative psychology unit.

She is a part of a team that observes Pistorius’ every move – ticking mental boxes as to whether he is lying, suffers from a narcissistic personality disorder or a host of other psychiatric measures.

While the defence had access to the state’s case months before the trial, the prosecution plays it by ear.

They are not forewarned about who will be testifying in Pistorius’ defence and so they ensure that all their experts, including a psychologist, are on hand to advise Nel.

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