Oscar Trial 3.7.2014 08:00 am

Oscar Pistorius is scared of his shadow

FILE PICTURE: Paralympian and murder-accused Oscar Pistorius is seen with his brother Carl (background) at the high court in Pretoria on Tuesday, 20 May 2014. Pistorius would be admitted as a day-patient at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital for mental observation, the court ordered on Tuesday. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters/Pool

FILE PICTURE: Paralympian and murder-accused Oscar Pistorius is seen with his brother Carl (background) at the high court in Pretoria on Tuesday, 20 May 2014. Pistorius would be admitted as a day-patient at Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital for mental observation, the court ordered on Tuesday. Picture: Siphiwe Sibeko/Reuters/Pool

Oscar Pistorius is wracked with anxiety – hyper-vigilant and fearful.

The description, relayed by his sport physician, Professor Wayne Derman, is crippling in terms of making people wonder how Pistorius lives.

Earlier in the North Gauteng High Court where Pistorius is on trial for the premeditated murder of Reeva Steenkamp, Pistorius’s character witness and manager Petrus van Zyl, may have committed character assassination.

In closing on Tuesday, Van Zyl testified Steenkamp was the first of Pistorius’s girlfriends he had ever been asked to arrange for her to accompany Pistorius to an overseas athletics event.

He stuck to his guns yesterday, even when prosecutor Gerrie Nel produced an e-mail to Van Zyl from the former athlete containing a scanned picture of former girlfriend Samantha Taylor’s passport.

Van Zyl also had no knowledge that Pistorius had written a passionate letter to Taylor saying he had asked Van Zyl to “organise” that Taylor accompany him.

Which makes either Van Zyl a liar to the court, or Pistorius a liar to Taylor.

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Unknowingly, Van Zyl would bolster Derman’s testimony later in the day, stating during his evidence-in-chief that Pistorius drove at high speeds to avoid being hijacked, and being jumpy around loud bangs.

Dernam – a sports physician specialising in impaired people – has extensive experience with the double amputee Olympian.

He told the court how Pistorius trained so hard his stumps were left bleeding.

It is at odds with the picture painted by Derman, of a man who tested significantly higher than the group average when it came to anxiety levels.

Pistorius had hand tremors, was an “anxious” indiviual and was troubled by a sleep disorder for which Derman had medicated him.

Derman also recalled how Pistorius would cover his head and ears with his hands and “cower” during fireworks displays.

Pistorius’s ability to pass a firearm competency test is also up for further questioning.

The image of a quivering, traumatised, wreck of a man scared of his own shadow is not one Nel agrees with.

He has referenced throughout the trial reports and evidence which portrayed Pistorius as quick to anger, petulant, self-absorbed and trigger-happy.

On Monday, orthopedic surgeon Dr Gerhard Versveld testified it would have been difficult for Pistorius to move over a tiled floor because of the grouting, except of course Pistorius has stated he was wearing socks over his stumps the night he shot Steenkamp.

Dernam continues today to explain how the fight or flight response would have affected Pistorius’s actions on the night.

 

 

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