Report: Pistorius psychiatrist has heart attack

2014-06-27 13:10
Oscar Pistorius looks on during his murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. (Daniel Born, AFP)

Oscar Pistorius looks on during his murder trial at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. (Daniel Born, AFP)

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Johannesburg - A psychiatrist who evaluated Oscar Pistorius had a heart attack on Thursday night, causing a delay in the handing over of the Paralympian's psychiatric evaluation report, eNCA reported on Friday.

According to eNCA reporter, Karyn Maughan, the psychologist’s report has been handed over but the psychiatrists’ evaluation hasn’t because Dr Leon Fine was unable to sign it due to the heart attack.

It is expected the psychiatrist’s report will be handed over later on Friday. The psychiatrist’s analysis of Pistorius was also unanimous, Maughan tweeted.

Murder-accused Pistorius will be back in the North Gauteng High Court on Monday, after completing a month-long mental observation at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital.

"It has been 30 days so his evaluation is completed. We must receive the reports from the specialists and then the court will determine the way forward," National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Nathi Mncube told Sapa.

Ready to go back to court

On 20 May, the court ruled that Pistorius's evaluation would inquire if he was "at the time of the commission of the offence criminally responsible" and if he could appreciate the "wrongfulness of his actions and act according to that appreciation".

Judge Thokozile Masipa said three psychiatrists and one clinical psychologist would evaluate Pistorius to determine whether his general anxiety disorder and his disability had an effect on him when he shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead on Valentine's Day last year.

His attorney Brian Webber said on Friday they were ready to go back to court on Monday.

"I anticipate that we are going to complete our evidence [when the trial resumes] so it will probably last for a couple of weeks," Webber told Sapa.

In May, forensic psychiatrist Merryll Vorster, testifying for the defence, told the court Pistorius had general anxiety disorder and based on this, the State successfully applied to have him referred for observation.

General anxiety disorder is a common anxiety disorder that involves chronic worrying, nervousness, and tension.

Could also be treated as an outpatient

Based on the outcome of the assessment, Pistorius could be detained in a psychiatric hospital or prison in terms of the Mental Health Act.

He could also be treated as an outpatient, released subject to conditions from the court, or released unconditionally.

Pistorius is charged with the murder of Steenkamp. He shot her dead through the locked door of his toilet in his Pretoria home. He has denied murder, saying he thought she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him.

The State contends he shot her during an argument.

He is also charged with three contraventions of the Firearms Control Act - one of illegal possession of ammunition and two of discharging a firearm in public. He has pleaded not guilty to these charges as well.

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