Oscar Pictorius Not Mentally Ill When He Shot His Girlfriend: Psychiatric Report

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By Afza Fathima | July 1, 2014 3:42 PM EST

A psychiatric report found that Oscar Pistorius, South African track star and Paralympic athlete, when he shot his girlfriend, was not suffering from any mental condition that might have impaired his ability to judge between right and wrong. He admitted to shooting Reeva Steenkamp, a model. He argued that he mistook her for an intruder hiding in his toilet at his home in an upmarket Pretoria suburb.

Reuters
Oscar Pistorius(R) seen having a conversation with the defence lawyer Barry Loux(L) in Pretoria June 30,2014

A mental evaluation conducted for a period of 30 days was allowed during a break in the trial, which began in March, after the defence testified that Pistorius was suffering from an anxiety disorder. Judge Thokozile Masipa said that it was important to find out whether or not the condition affected his criminal responsibility.

A report submitted to the court was read by Gerrie Nel, the prosecutor and it said that at the time of the alleged offences, the accused did not suffer from a mental disorder or mental defect that affected his ability to distinguish between the rightful or wrongful nature of his deeds.

The trial is expected to finish this week after judge Thokozile Masipa whill consider the verdict. Only a few witnesses are left to provide evidence. The defence team is now putting forth their version of the events.

Sound expert, Ivan Lin, was called in by the defence and he said, "At 177 metres away, if the scream was from the toilet, it is highly unlikely that the listener can hear the screams, let alone interpret the sound source reliably."

The psychiatric assessment was conducted because a testimony by a forensic psychiatrist at the University of Witwaterstrandm Mereyll Vorster, suggested the defence was preparing a third explanation for the shooting.

If Pistorius was declared mentally incompetent, he couldn't stand trial and would have had to submit to psychiatric treatment. Since February 2013, Pistorius has been free on a 96,000 dollar bail.

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(Photo: Reuters / Ihsaan Haffejee)
Oscar Pistorius(R) seen having a conversation with the defence lawyer Barry Loux(L) in Pretoria June 30,2014
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