South African athlete Oscar Pistorius, convicted of the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp is a ‘broken man who shouldn’t be jailed’, a psychologist has told the court at his murder case trial going on today.
The 29 year old athlete faces a minimum 15-year sentence in a case that has prompted a fierce debate in South Africa, a country beset by high levels of violent crime. Some rights groups say the ‘white’ athlete has received preferential treatment and would have been punished severely if he were black.
Pistorius appeared at today’s session most times with his hands on his head as the Psychologist said he has been undergoing medication for depression, anxiety and insomnia.
Oscar’s trial will last through out this week till Friday, when a sentence will be made.
Psychologist Jonathan Scholtz told the court:
“Since the offence he has developed a serious psychiatric condition which has become worse over the past two years – major depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.”
“One would describe him as broken. In my opinion his current condition warrants hospitalization,” Scholtz told the hearing that was attended by Steenkamp’s mother.
“Since 2013, he becomes traumatized when he hears the sound of gunfire,” Scholtz said. “He never wants to touch a firearm again.”
Pistorius killed Ms Steenkamp in February 2013 after firing four times through a locked toilet door.
The athlete has always maintained he believed he was shooting at an intruder.