Pistorius a ‘suicide risk’, court told
Paralympian star Oscar Pistorius, on trial over the killing of his girlfriend, is suffering from post-traumatic stress and is a suicide risk, a South African court has been told.
The diagnosis was contained in a psychological report read to the court on Wednesday by lawyer Barry Roux, who is defending Olympian and Paralympian sprinter Pistorius on charges that he deliberately shot and killed model Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day last year.
“Mr Pistorius has been severely traumatised by the events that took place,” Roux quoted the report as saying.
“He currently suffers from a post-traumatic stress disorder and a major depressive disorder.
“He is also mourning the loss of Ms Steenkamp.”
Pistorius, 27, had received treatment for his condition and this should continue, the report said.
“Should he not receive proper clinical care, his condition is likely to worsen and increase the risks for suicide.”
The report was the result of 30 days of court-ordered psychiatric observation of the double-amputee athlete.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel also read excerpts from the report which said Pistorius had not suffered any mental illness at the time he shot Steenkamp.
Earlier, in a pummelling cross-examination, Nel questioned Pistorius’s manager about the star sprinter’s angry outbursts and turbulent love life, zeroing in on apparent inconsistencies in key parts of his account.
Nel dismissed Peet Van Zyl’s claim that he did not know of Pistorius’s aggressive behaviour at past athletic events and personal details about his previous girlfriends.
Pistorius, known as the Blade Runner, has been charged with murdering Steenkamp by shooting her four times through a locked toilet door.
The defence claims Pistorius shot the 29-year-old model and law graduate after mistaking her for an intruder.
The Olympian has testified he was in a loving relationship with his girlfriend, whom he had been dating for about three months.