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Pistorius trial – key points from day 37

A defence witness and medical expert who said Oscar Pistorius is vulnerable and “significantly disabled” was subjected to a tough cross-examination by the state during the 37th day of the Pistorius murder trial.

– Wayne Derman, chief medical officer of the South African Paralympic Team at the London Olympic Games in 2012, said Pistorius isn’t always the invincible athlete people think he is.

“Although he loathes to be pitied in any way, the hard truth is that he does not have lower legs,” said Derman.

Pistorius, who is on trial for shooting his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp through a locked toilet door, is trapped between his status as a global superstar and an “individual who is significantly disabled”, said Derman.

This caused the athlete anxiety.

“Disability never sleeps,” said Derman, “it’s there when you go to sleep at night and it’s there when you wake up in the morning, it affects every aspect of your life.”

– Derman said Pistorius had an exaggerated reaction to sound because of his training as a professional athlete, where a gun is fired to start a race.

“The athlete is taught not to anticipate but to react,” said Derman.

Under intense questioning from prosecutor Gerrie Nel, Derman said Pistorius shot at the toilet door on the 14 of February 2013 to “nullify the threat”.

“He fired at the sound and I’m sure that was to nullify any threat,” said Derman.

– Nel said the medical expert, who has known Pistorius for six years, showed bias in favour of the athlete.

“You see sir, I think you’re biased,” said Nel.

– Reading from a psychological report on Pistorius, defence lawyer Kenny Oldwadge said that the athlete has a “split personality” and is “two Oscars”.

The one is vulnerable, the other a star “achieving beyond expectation”.

Nel called for an adjournment for time to consult a state psychiatrist before continuing with his cross-examination of Derman on Monday.