Sound of gunfire traumatises Oscar - psychologist

2016-06-13 10:49
The Steenkamps in court (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

The Steenkamps in court (Thomas Hartleb, News24)

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WATCH: Oscar Pistorius arrives at court

2016-06-13 09:58

Oscar Pistorius has entered the court. There are 18 police officers in the court. Watch.WATCH

Pretoria – Convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius is unable to testify during his sentencing proceedings, the High Court in Pretoria heard on Monday.

“In my opinion he is not able to testify,” psychologist Prof Jonathan Scholtz told the court during sentencing proceedings for Pistorius for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The defence asked Scholtz to compile a report in mitigation of sentencing. He interviewed Pistorius, and 16 other people, including his relatives and therapist, and conducted psychometric tests and a “risk assessment” of the former paralympian.

“His fall from grace was immense. Although he received support from many quarters, he was vilified and attacked by many. He was unable to properly mourn the loss of the deceased.”

When Scholtz said the last sentence, Reeva’s mother June sighed, shook her head and exchanged a look with her husband Barry.

Scholtz said Pistorius’s mood was depressed, he was preoccupied with his sentencing, guilt and the future. He had limited energy and his concentration wavered. He had signs of depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

“His condition has worsened since 2014,” Scholtz said. 

As he read through his report, Pistorius sat motionless in the dock, looking down.

Scholtz said Pistorius was traumatised by the sound of gunfire, even in movies, and had vowed never to touch a firearm again.

Pistorius is being sentenced for murder after the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned his sentence of culpable homicide for killing Steenkamp on February 14, 2013. It found him guilty of murder and sent the matter back to Judge Thokozile Masipa to sentence him afresh.

Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  pretoria  |  pistorius trial

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