Oscar fired at the noise - psychiatrist

2014-05-13 13:23
Reeva Steenkamp's mother, June, wipes her eye during the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. (Daniel Born/The Times/Pool)

Reeva Steenkamp's mother, June, wipes her eye during the murder trial of Oscar Pistorius at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. (Daniel Born/The Times/Pool)

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Pretoria - Murder-accused Oscar Pistorius fired at the noise behind his locked toilet door when he shot dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, the North Gauteng High Court heard on Tuesday.

"What he told me was that there was an intruder. That he certainly fired shots at the noise because he was scared, that was his version," forensic expert Merryll Vorster said.

"He did not specifically say that he shot four times. He said he fired at the noise.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel objected and said that while the athlete was on the stand he told the court he shot at an intruder, not at the noise.

Vorster agreed there was an inconsistency, but said Pistorius's version to her could be accepted.

"When you are in a fearful situation, I would not expect him to remember every detail," she said.

She saw Pistorius on 2 and 7 May.

Pistorius is charged with murdering Steenkamp. He shot her through the locked door of his toilet in his Pretoria home on 14 February last year. Pistorius has denied guilt, saying he thought she was an intruder about to open the door and attack him. The State contends he shot her during an argument.

Anxiety disorder

Vorster said clinically Pistorius presented with anxiety disorder if his history, interviews with him, and symptoms were taken into account.

She said he functioned normally but did not have close relationships with friends, and his sexual relationships were short.

Earlier, Vorster told the court Pistorius had general anxiety disorder. She said her diagnosis would be relevant if the court found that he shot an intruder.

"It would not be relevant if the court finds that he deliberately shot Steenkamp. Then it doesn’t play a role," she said.

Pistorius could determine right from wrong but his general anxiety disorder could affect how he acted.

Pistorius 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.

After Nel concluded cross-examining Vorster, Barry Roux SC, for Pistorius, started re-examining her.

- Health24: Anxiety Disorders

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  pistorius trial

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