'Broken' Oscar Pistorius suffering from 'major depression,' doctor says

Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp as a couple.

REEVA Steenkamp's father broke down in court as he told a dramatic sentencing hearing that Oscar Pistorius must "pay for his crime" for shooting dead his daughter.

Pistorius was originally convicted on a charge of culpable homicide - the equivalent of manslaughter - but this was appealed and upgraded to murder by the Supreme Court of Appeal in December. Pistorius argued that he mistook her for an intruder.

About 20 Pistorius supporters rallied outside the court, saying he should be treated leniently.

Nel told the court that Pistorius shown no remorse for the murder, and that he only "feels sorry for himself". "In my opinion his current condition warrants hospitalisation", Prof Scholtz said. Pistorius also gets anxious when he hears gunshots, even if it's only on television, Scholtz said.

But prosecutor Gerrie Nel questioned how Oscar was "in no state to take the stand", yet could tell his story to United Kingdom television station ITV.

Psychologist Jonathan Scholtz called the 29-year-old a "broken man" and said he should not be imprisoned.

On Monday, Nel subjected Scholtz to sharp questioning, getting him to acknowledge that someone suffering from the same stress disorder as Pistorius could become irritated and agitated.

The prosecutor said the defense team apologized for the spat; Pistorius' defense lawyer did not immediately comment on the allegation.

Pistorius dressed in a dark pinstripe suit and sat quietly throughout the first day of testimony, with his head down; he sometimes covered his face with his hands.

"This Comment contends that professional athletes' celebrity status and the national media coverage that accompanies their cases cause some athletes to be singled out as sacrificial lambs while allowing other athletes to receive preferential treatment", wrote Laurie Nicole Robinson in the Indiana Law Journal in 1998. Police officers lined the wood-panelled walls.

He shot her four times through a locked toilet door in February 2013.

"Mr Pistorius would be better served. if he gave back in a positive and constructive way, using his skills".

Scholtz said Pistorius was once assaulted while in jail, but the Prosecutor, Gerrie Nel, rejected this, saying the complaint register in which Pistorius often raised issues had no report of such an incident.

Scholtz says this reaction is normal, especially when first being imprisoned and he in no way believes Pistorius is violent by nature.

A psychologist re-emphasised at the end of day one of Oscar Pistorius's sentencing that he was chronically depressed.

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