“There is no history of aggression towards his parents,” said forensic psychiatrist Larissa Panieri-Peter.
She was testifying for the defence during sentencing procedures of the 17-year-old boy convicted of three murders and rape.
On March 27, Northern Cape Judge President Frans Kgomo found the boy guilty of the murders of Griekwastad farmer Deon Steenkamp, 44, his wife Christel, 43, and their daughter Marthella, 14.
They were shot dead on their farm Naauwhoek on April 6, 2012.
The boy was also found guilty of raping the girl and lying to police.
“He did not do a lot of bad things,” Panieri-Peter told the court.
She said often young criminals had a history of violent conduct.
“It is missing in this case.”
She told the court the boy was very aware of rules, which was something not expected from a badly behaved child.
She said in order to help the court she would put various aspects of her investigation before the court and explain them.
Panieri-Peter said she might produce a lot more questions and not really give an answer.
The boy was a typical adolescent in his thinking and outlook. He did not suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.
She told the court he fought back tears during some interviews. He could be blunt and sometimes had a blank expression during her sessions with him.
She would not expect him to have a clear memory of the murders.
“I get very suspicious when a perpetrator gives me an exact description of what happened in an event.”
She said inconsistencies in the order of events, as was the case with the boy, were to be expected.
Panieri-Peter said the Steenkamp murders had divided the local community.
“People have strong views about the incident.”
Her findings indicated that those who supported the boy were not in denial.
“They are preoccupied in trying in finding out what happened. How it happened.”
Panieri-Peter said she was rather surprised by the balanced views of those close to the boy.
The boy’s insistence on his plea of innocence, despite the court finding him guilty, was a lie.
She said an explanation for this could be that he was holding onto his self.
“One is in the corner with the lie now. Now one stays with that.”
Panieri-Peter said looking at the evidence of the crimes it was significant to her that one victim, Christel, was spared blunt force trauma.
The matter continues.