Pistorius had no mental disorder at time of shooting - report

PRETORIA Mon Jun 30, 2014 9:00pm IST

South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius talks to his defence lawyer Barry Roux (L) during his murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Ihsaan Haffejee/Pool

South African Olympic and Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius talks to his defence lawyer Barry Roux (L) during his murder trial in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria June 30, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ihsaan Haffejee/Pool

PRETORIA (Reuters) - Oscar Pistorius, the South African sprinter on trial for murder for shooting his girlfriend, was not suffering from a mental condition at the time she was killed, a psychiatric report said on Monday.

Pistorius, who competed in the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics, has admitted to shooting dead his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, but maintains he mistook her for an intruder hiding in his toilet in an upmarket Pretoria suburb.

The trial, which began in March, took a month-long break to allow the 27-year-old to undergo tests at Pretoria's Weskoppies hospital after a forensic psychologist brought by the defence testified he had an anxiety disorder.

The defence has only a few more witnesses to call before the trial reaches the verdict stage.

Judge Thokozile Masipa said it was important to find out whether the condition affected his criminal responsibility.

"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," Prosecutor Gerrie Nel read from a report submitted to the court.

Both Nel and defence lawyer Barry Roux accepted the findings of a panel of psychiatrists and psychologists after 30 days of evaluation.

SOUND EXPERT

During the trial, prosecutors have tried to paint a picture of a self-obsessed Pistorius who knowingly killed his law graduate girlfriend as she cowered behind a locked bathroom door. Pistorius could face a life sentence if found guilty of the shooting on Valentine's Day last year.

Following the assessment report, Pistorius' defence called sound expert Ivan Lin, who questioned whether neighbours 177 metres (193 yards) away could have heard screams coming from the toilet, or identified them as a man or woman.

"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," he said

Lin's testimony, which is yet to be cross-examined, comes after state witness and Pistorius neighbour Michelle Burger testified that she was woken in the middle of the night by "bloodcurdling screams" from a woman, followed by shots.

Pistorius competed against able-bodied sprinters on carbon-fibre prosthetics, becoming one of the most recognised names in athletics. Besides a clutch of Paralympic medals, he reached the semi-finals of the 400m at the London 2012 Olympics.

(Writing by Helen Nyambura-Mwaura and Tiisetso Motsoeneng; Editing by Ed Cropley and Tom Heneghan)

Australian Open

Novak Djokovic (L) of Serbia watches as Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland walks off the court after their men's singles semi-final match at the Australian Open 2015 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 30, 2015. REUTERS/Issei Kato

Djokovic beats Wawrinka, to face Murray

Novak Djokovic once again stood tall at the Australian Open as he reached his fourth final in the past five years with another five-set victory over Stan Wawrinka, the man who dumped him out of Melbourne Park last year.  Full Article 

Reuters Showcase

GDP Growth

GDP Growth

India's economic growth revised up by almost 50 pct.  Full Article 

Stake Sale

Stake Sale

Strong demand for Coal India boosts privatisation drive.  Full Article 

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet Bailout

SpiceJet board approves up to $243 mln share sale plan  Full Article 

India Art Fair

India Art Fair

Art fair turns India's capital into art hub.  Full Article 

Child Trafficking

Child Trafficking

Police find hundreds of child slaves making bangles - media   Full Article 

Movie Review

Movie Review

"Rahasya" is an ode to Agatha Christie.  Full Article 

England Beat India

England Beat India

England reach final after Taylor-made victory.  Full Article 

Change Of Heart

Change Of Heart

Justin Bieber says dropping 'arrogant' and 'conceited' attitude  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage