Windhoek High Court Judge Claudia Claasen yesterday issued a warrant of arrest for a 31-year-old woman from Aussenkehr in the //Kharas region, who is accused of killing her six-month-old son.
The accused failed to attend her scheduled court case.
Her legal aid-appointed lawyer Milton Engelbrecht was at a loss to explain the absence of his client, Priscilla Daukeline Stuurman, agreeing that a warrant of arrest should be issued.
This is not the first time Stuurman missed a court appearance, always blaming a lack of transport money to come from Aussenkehr to Windhoek.
Prosecutor Taodago Gaweseb yesterday said her incarceration, pending the finalisation of her trial, should curb that problem and asked the court for the arrest warrant.
Stuurman pleaded not guilty to a charge of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act at the start of her trial.
It is alleged by the State that Stuurman intentionally killed Stiaan Cidio Stuurman by hitting his head on the ground, causing his skull to fracture, leading to his death one day later.
According to the summary of substantive facts in the indictment, on 23 December 2019, the accused expressed to witnesses that she would kill the victim, and refused to breastfeed the infant.
It is further alleged that during the evening hours of the same night, she fractured the baby’s skull by hitting his head multiple times on the ground, whereafter she reported to neighbours she murdered the infant.
The victim died the next day due to multiple intracranial bleeds caused by the assault on him.
During her testimony in her defence, she continued her denials while being questioned.
She merely confirmed what she stated in her Section 115 statement in which she denied the assault and said she had no intention whatsoever to harm or injure the infant.
“At the time when I realised what had happened, I was in complete and utter shock. I can only state to this Honourable Court that the incident is a tragic result of an unforeseen act, which occurred on that fatal night – and something that I am extremely remorseful of and find extremely difficult to cope with every day of my life,” Stuurman stated in her explanation.
According to her, the incident happened while she was busy breastfeeding the child and stood up to smoke outside.
It was very dark in the room – and during that time, she stumbled because of the alcohol she was consuming.
“The deceased then fell out of my arms on the sand surface. I picked up the deceased and lay him outside, and ran to the house of Lena Orr, now deceased, for help,” she explained.
The matter will return to court on 4 July.