Pistorius sent for psychiatric testing

PRETORIA – The judge in the Oscar Pistorius trial has ordered the South African athlete to start daily tests to assess his mental state when he killed his girlfriend.

Pistorius spoke to his brother Carl (right) after getting the details of his psychiatric assessment.
Pistorius spoke to his brother Carl (right) after getting the details of his psychiatric assessment.

Judge Thokozile Masipa yesterday told him he would attend Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital in Pretoria as an outpatient for a month. It comes after a defence witness said the double amputee was suffering from generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

Pistorius denies intentionally killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He says he accidentally shot her through the toilet door on Valentine’s Day last year in a state of panic, mistaking the 29-year-old model and law graduate for an intruder.

The prosecution had argued the tests were essential after forensic psychiatrist Merryll Vorster told the court in Pretoria the double amputee was “a danger to society”.

But the defence vigorously opposed the move.

Judge Masipa said today that four appointed psychiatrists would “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”.

She said the team would decide whether he was “capable of appreciating the wrongfulness of his act”.

Court proceedings were adjourned until June 30.

Legal experts say that the case may well hinge on the judge’s understanding of the athlete’s state of mind when he pulled the trigger.

They say the prosecution is keen to show that the defence keeps changing its reasons why Pistorius fired his gun – from putative self-defence, to accidental shooting, and now to something linked to his anxiety disorder.

Prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel has also said he is trying to prevent mental illness being used as an argument in any future appeal.

Last week Judge Masipa said that the criminal code stipulated that if an accused person was alleged not to be criminally responsible or was alleged to be mentally ill, he should be evaluated.

Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital was founded in 1892 and is a 1,400-bed hospital affiliated to the University of Pretoria.

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, Pistorius 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.

Source: BBC

10 Responses to Pistorius sent for psychiatric testing

  1. Kim Ramsay
    Kim Ramsay May 20, 2014 at 9:23 pm

    Well played Pistorius…well played.

  2. Poetry Dancer
    Poetry Dancer May 20, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    he wants burning with fire

  3. Cheryl A Rollins
    Cheryl A Rollins May 20, 2014 at 9:44 pm

    The only psychiatric testing he needs is a slap around his head with a collins. That will help him to remember! FRAUD!!

  4. Clive Walrond
    Clive Walrond May 20, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    U mean money passing out

  5. Clive Walrond
    Clive Walrond May 20, 2014 at 10:01 pm

    Oj story was alot better than his, and u all wanted to kill him, but when yr white it seems the law always in yr favour..

  6. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner May 20, 2014 at 10:02 pm

    He will walk free, psychiatric test is a get outta jail pass.

  7. Amanda Corbin
    Amanda Corbin May 20, 2014 at 10:17 pm

    It’s quite pathetic when people still play the race card

  8. Adrian M Chase
    Adrian M Chase May 20, 2014 at 10:27 pm

    It’s even more pathetic when you ignore the role race plays in certain aspects of life.

  9. Princess Tiny Neferua
    Princess Tiny Neferua May 21, 2014 at 12:02 am

    If he really loved that girl and he accidentally killed her…he should have turn the gun of himself and follow her…but I hope she haunt his lying behind everyday….to the point where he turns bewitch..mad..crazy..derange…and all thing that are associated with sick head people..I hope he know….if you live by the sword…you will die by that same sword

  10. Sharon Woolley
    Sharon Woolley May 21, 2014 at 1:53 am

    He needs no test, everyone can see he’s a perfect liar and his acting should earn him an Oscar -GUILTY GUILTY GUILTY


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