Oscar Pistorius suffers from agoraphobia and shot girlfriend as part of ‘fight or flight’ response, court hears

A psychologist in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial has said he believes the athlete's disability is a major factor in the case.


by Ellie Hooper |
Published on

Professor Derman from the University of Cape Town assessed Pistorius's mental health as part of the murder trail, and came to the conclusion that the Paralympian is a 'paradox' of an individual; both incredibly able yet significantly disabled.

Oscar Pistorius competing at the London 2012 Olympics
Oscar Pistorius competing at the London 2012 Olympics

READ: Psychologist confirms Pistorius was not suffering from mental disorder at time of girlfriend's death

He added that Pistorius, who stands accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year, has a 'lifetime of real and learnt vulnerability as a consequence of his disability.'

The psychologist asserted that Oscar has a profound fear of crime, and that he is conditioned to react to loud noises (such as the gunshot at the start of a race.)

READ: Pistorius a 'hyper-vigilant' individual who was terrified of intruders, court hears

Meanwhile the rest of Oscar's defence team have today read from the psychologist's report, revealing that Oscar suffers from agoraphobia, and often feels anxious and defenceless with or without his prosthesis.

This fear is allegedly why the gold medal winner bought a gun in the first place, so he could feel less vulnerable in himself.

However, Prosecutor Gerrie Nel has disputed Professor Derman's claims, picking on small details in his testimony and suggesting that Derman is 'biased' towards the athlete.

The trial continues this afternoon.

Read more: Oscar Pistorius's trial so far

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us