Judge blocks media over Oscar report

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Copy of st main OSCARcar AP Seen through a car window, Oscar Pistorius leaves the court, in Pretoria on Wednesday. Picture: Jerome Delay

Pretoria - The defence successfully brought an application to stop the publication of the full report on Oscar Pistorius’s mental health.

The 80-page report by Weskoppies clinical psychologist, Professor Jonathan Scholtz, was by Wednesday placed in the public domain, but Judge Thokozile Masipa barred publication of its contents, save for the findings.

“I grant an order prohibiting publication of the contents of these exhibits apart from the findings that were put on record,” Masipa said.

On Wednesday, defence lawyer Barry Roux read excerpts from Scholtz’s report in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria.

Scholtz found that Pistorius had been severely traumatised by the events of February 14 last year when Reeva Steenkamp was killed.

If Pistorius did not receive proper care from a psychiatrist and a clinical psychologist for the trauma he suffered following the killing of Steenkamp, his condition could worsen and increase his risk for suicide.

Scholtz’s report said that Pistorius suffers from a significant post traumatic stress disorder and a major depressive disorder, for which he is being treated.

The psychologist, who evaluated the athlete over the past month at the mental institution, recommended that if these conditions continued, he should receive further clinical care from a psychiatrist and clinical psychologist.

Scholtz said no evidence could be found that Pistorius had a history of abnormal aggression or explosive violence. He also does not display the characteristics of narcissism or psychopathy, associated with men in abusive relationships or linked to rage-type murders in intimate relationships.

Scholtz said those who know Pistorius, described him as gentle, respectful and avoiding conflict. “The times he did become angry were found to be suitable for the situation and context. His style of conflict resolution is to talk the situation through or to remove himself from the situation.”

According to Scholtz, Pistorius has the ability to self reflect afterwards, mostly leading to feelings of guilt and an apology from him.

Defence psychologist Dr Merryl Vorster had told the court earlier in the trial that Pistorius suffered from general anxiety disorder (GAD), but Scholtz did not agree.

He said no evidence could be found to indicate Pistorius suffered from anxiety to the extent that it impaired his functioning prior to the killing on Valentine’s Day last year.

“He specifically does not meet the criteria for GAD,” Scholtz said.

Scholtz said evidence also suggested Pistorius was genuine in his feelings towards Steenkamp and that they had a normal, loving relationship. He did become jealous and insecure at times, but this was normal and he sought to clear up these issues with Steenkamp later. “Although their relationship was still young, there were no signs of abuse…”

Scholtz said Pistorius did have a history of feeling insecure and vulnerable, especially when he was without his prostheses.

“When he feels… threatened, a fear response follows, which is normal in the context of a disabled person with his history,” said Scholtz.

He concluded Pistorius had not suffered from a mental defect or illness at the time of the offence which rendered him not criminally responsible. Three psychologist who evaluated the athlete, came to the same conclusion.

They found Pistorius now presented with an adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and a depressed mood, which developed after the killing of Steenkamp.

The State and defence accepted the findings.

Pretoria News

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