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Oscar Pistorius ‘too depressed’ to return to jail, hears court

Oscar Pistorius should not be sent back to jail due to the state of his mental health, a psychologist has told a court in South Africa today.
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Dr Jonathan Scholtz described how the Paralympian is suffering from “major depression,” and should not be forced to return to jail.

Pistorius, 29, killed model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013, after firing through a locked toilet door at his home in Pretoria.

Despite missing out on a murder conviction in the original trial, his culpable homicide conviction was later upgraded after the prosecution appealed to the Supreme Court.

They based their appeal around the fact the lower court had not correctly applied the rule of dolus eventualis – whether Pistorius knew that a death would be a likely result of his actions.

In the end, the main defence of the athlete (that he thought an intruder was behind the door, not his girlfriend) was deemed irrelevant and the star was convicted of murder.

Reeva Steenkamp was killed on Valentine’s Day 2013 by Oscar

Dr Scholtz for the defence explained that he doesn’t think a jail term would be “constructive” for the athlete – who before the killing had a glittering career and several valuable sponsorship deals.

“Since the offence he has developed a serious psychiatric condition which has become worse over the past two years,” he told the court.

He added that the athlete is traumatised by the sound of gunfire, has sold all of his firearms and never wants to handle one again.

“His spirit seems broken,” he said.

Other details revealed that Pistorius has been ill while in prison, had overheard the rape of a fellow inmate – who later hanged himself, and had been assaulted.

However Gerrie Nel for the prosecution argued that Pistorius has shown no remorse for his actions, and also pointed out that he’d had ‘tantrums’ in jail – allegedly banging a table when he got upset with a nurse.

His sentence hearing is expected to take all week.

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