According to a psychologist, Oscar Pistorius, who murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, is a “broken” man and should not be jailed. But the prosecutor told the South African court that the athlete has shown no sign of remorse.
Pistorius, 29, also known as the “Blade Runner” for the carbon-fiber prosthetics he wore while running, is facing a minimum 15-year jail term for the 2013 murder which was upgraded on appeal. But the term can be reduced due to the time already spent in prison and mitigating factors. The hearing is expected to continue the entire week with a sentencing on Friday.
The psychologist, Jonathan Scholtz, who was contacted by Pistorius’ lawyer Barry Roux, told the court that the athlete was on medications for depression, anxiety and insomnia.
“One would describe him as broken. In my opinion, his current condition warrants hospitalisation,” the ABC quoted Scholtz as saying, and noted that that Pistorius was not in a condition to testify. “Since 2013, he becomes traumatized when he hears the sound of gunfire,” he added. “He never wants to touch a firearm again.”
The psychiatrist added that instead of sending him to custody, Pistorius should be allowed to do community service so that he could help others. He also had a job offer by his uncle’s company for the role of a project manager in an early childhood development program.
Scholtz’ assertion was questioned by state prosecutor Gerrie Nel before the court, saying that he had given an hour-long interview to a British broadcaster. Nel added that Pistorius also showed temper tantrums in jail and that he “banged the table” when he got upset with a nurse. He asked the doctor why these actions of Pistorius were ignored, the BBC reported.
Pistorius killed his girlfriend Steenkamp in February 2013 by shooting her four times through a locked door. But he has maintained that he was under the impression that he was shooting an intruder.