Saturday 27 December 2014

Dewani's disorder 'has mutated'

Published 03/12/2012 | 12:09

Shrien Dewani faces extradition to South Africa

A businessman wanted in South Africa over the honeymoon murder of his wife is a "husk" of his former self who spends his days playing computer games in a disused camper van, a court has been told.

Shrien Dewani is currently being treated in a secure mental health hospital for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) so he can be extradited to face the charges.

Dewani's 28-year-old wife Anni, who was from Sweden, was shot when a taxi the couple were travelling in was hijacked in the Gugulethu township on the outskirts of Cape Town in November 2010.

Westminster Magistrates' Court heard that the symptoms he is suffering have mutated. The court was told Dewani has a "withdrawn" attitude and spends his time in a camper van outside Fromeside Clinic in Bristol playing on his computer. He has flashbacks and remembers the breath of a man holding a gun to his head, the court heard.

His lawyer, Clare Montgomery, said: "He cannot travel by car as he has a severe reaction, he doesn't want to get into a travelling car or go outside. He doesn't even want to go to the shops on his own," she added as the conditions of his bail were discussed. "In his current state it is unthinkable he would be able to plan any escape, let alone effect one."

Hugo Keith QC, representing the South African authorities, said the 32-year-old does not see himself as a patient at times, that he has fought against treatment and has been aggressive towards staff.

Giving evidence, his psychiatrist Dr Paul Cantrell admitted that Dewani had "adapted poorly" to treatment. He said: "His depression has moved into the moderate range albeit in the lower range of that, in the borderlands between severe and moderate. I am clear that his PTSD remains in the severe range and the PTSD has mutated over time."

District Judge Howard Riddle agreed to allow Dewani to switch from Fromeside to Blaise View mental health hospital in Bristol, which was described as a more "open, relaxed and calm environment".

Dewani's bail conditions include a £250,000 security which has already been paid, not to leave the mental health hospital where he is required to spend nights without permission and to continue with his treatment.

His mental condition will be reviewed again at Westminster Magistrates' Court in April next year, ahead of a provisional full extradition hearing date set for July 1.

Press Association

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