Oscar Pistorius murder trial resumes in South Africa – BBC News

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Oscar Pistorius murder trial resumes in South Africa – BBC Newsby wpjljron.Oscar Pistorius murder trial resumes in South Africa – BBC News 30 June 2014 Last updated at 08:52 Please turn on JavaScript. Media requires JavaScript to play. […]

Oscar Pistorius arrives at court on 30 June 2014

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Watch coverage of the murder trial of the South African athlete Oscar Pistorius

Oscar Pistorius did not have a mental disorder when he killed his girlfriend, a psychological report has said as his murder trial resumed.

The report was presented following an evaluation into his mental health.

His defence team has argued he was suffering from an anxiety disorder at the time of the shooting.

The athlete denies deliberately killing Reeva Steenkamp. He says he shot her accidentally in a state of panic after mistaking her for an intruder.

Both prosecution and defence have accepted the results of the report.

The defence team is now hearing from Dr Gerry Versfeld, who amputated Mr Pistorius’ legs.

Dr Versfeld is testifying about the impact of the disability on the athlete.

The defence is expected to finish presenting its evidence in the next few days.

Ms Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model and law graduate, was shot through a toilet door at Oscar Pistorius’s house in Pretoria on Valentine’s Day last year.

The couple had been dating for three months.

Criminally responsible?

The trial was adjourned on 20 May after Judge Thokozile Masipa ordered Mr Pistorius, 27, to undergo a month of tests as an outpatient at Weskoppies psychiatric hospital in Pretoria.

The prosecution requested the evaluation after a defence witness said the double amputee was suffering from Generalised Anxiety Disorder (Gad).

File photo: Oscar Pistorius (right) and his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a picture in Johannesburg, 7 February 2013Mr Pistorius says he mistook Reeva Steenkamp – model and law graduate – for an intruder

Four appointed psychiatrists were to “inquire into whether the accused by reason of mental illness or mental defect was at the time of the commission of the offence criminally responsible for the offence as charged”, Judge Masipa said.

The team was to decide whether he was “capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his act”.

There are no juries at trials in South Africa, so the athlete’s fate will ultimately be decided by the judge, assisted by two assessors.

If found guilty of murder, Mr Pistorius, who went on trial on 3 March this year, could face life imprisonment. If he is acquitted of that charge, the court will consider an alternative charge of culpable homicide, for which he could receive about 15 years in prison.


Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Michelle Roberts

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The BBC’s Michelle Roberts explains Generalised Anxiety Disorder

  • Generalised Anxiety Disorder is a medically-recognised, long-term condition
  • People with Gad feel anxious on most days and worry about a wide range of issues
  • It is thought to affect around one in 25 people at some point in their lives and is more common in women than in men
  • Symptoms vary – making it tricky to diagnose
  • People with Gad may have difficulty concentrating, feel tired and irritable, feel sick, dizzy or sweaty and experience aches and pains
  • Gad tends to run in families, can follow stressful events, and may be linked to chemical imbalances in the brain
  • The main treatments include using talking therapies, relaxation techniques and medication


Source Article from http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-28080236


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