WINDHOEK - A South African national, who killed a Namibian woman in 2014, has been sentenced to 28 years imprisonment by Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute.
Wilhelm Derick Februarie, 40, was convicted for the brutal murder of 56-year-old Dinah Diedericks on 21 June 2014 at her residence in Windhoek West after he raped her, or exposed her private parts by removing her pants and underwear.
He was charged with the murder and had pleaded not guilty to both counts at the start of his trial. The judge convicted him of murder with direct intent, but acquitted him on the charge of rape.
During the judgement yesterday, Judge Shivute said that she is satisfied that the only inference to be drawn from the available evidence was that it was Februarie who killed the deceased, but could not with a clear conscience find that he either raped, attempted to rape the deceased or that he was guilty of crimen injuria for exposing the woman’s private parts.
Judge Shivute noted the only factor in favour of Februarie is that he spent five years in custody pending the finalisation of his trial and this normally attracts a reduction when sentenced.
She further stated that Februarie did not show any remorse. “The offence he committed is very serious and it was committed in respect of a vulnerable woman who was under the influence of intoxicating liquor,” the judge said.
“The deceased was defenceless. She was killed for no apparent reason. The deceased was robbed of her precious life. All these are aggravating factors.” Judge Shivute stated she must have regard to the objectives of punishment and what sentence in the light of a particular circumstance of a case would be appropriate and just and the need to balance and harmonise the competing interests of society and that of a convict to arrive at a just sentence depending on the circumstances of each case.
In the present case, Judge Shivute said, the aggravating factors by far outweighed the personal circumstances of the accused.
“Society expects that the accused who committed a serious offence must be sentenced accordingly,” she said. The judge said if the court fails to impose an appropriate sentence that reflects the seriousness of the offence, this may result in members of society taking the law into their own hands.
“Although there is no amount of custodial sentence sufficient enough to pay for the loss of a precious life, I am of the opinion that a sentence of 28 years will be appropriate and just in the circumstances,” Judge Shivute concluded.
Februarie still maintains he is innocent and indicated that he will seek leave to appeal the conviction.
2019-12-05 07:43:24 9 months ago