WINDHOEK – “As a witness, the accused has been found incredible in respect of events having taken place after the deceased had been fatally injured and his false testimony is directly linked to his defence.”
This is what Judge Christi Liebenberg told murder accused Richard Hange before he convicted him of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, on Friday.
Judge Liebenberg said that in the court’s assessment of all the facts duly proved and summarised, the only reasonable inference to draw is that Hange caused all the injuries inflicted, including injury to his neck.
“The evidence further shows that there has been no justification for the accused’s actions,” the judge emphasised and continued, “All that is before court is the concocted evidence of the accused, which is false beyond reasonable doubt, evidence that was designed to escape conviction.”
According to the judge, the court is satisfied that it was proven beyond a reasonable doubt that Hange has unlawfully caused the death of Lisa Kandovazu.
The judge said that medical evidence produced show that some force was used to damage the vein, which is well protected where positioned in the neck.
According to the judge, there was a further cut wound also in the neck, which shows that the assault was directed to that aspect of the body at least twice.
Furthermore, the judge said significant blunt force was applied to the head causing fractures to the skull and a deep laceration on the front temporal area, next to the right eye.
What is clear from these injuries is that the assault was directed at the neck and head, both considered to be exceptionally vulnerable aspects of the human anatomy, the judge said and continued, “It further shows that there was a continuous assault on the deceased during which several injuries were inflicted, including signs of strangulation.”
He said in his view, the cumulative effect of the injuries sustains the inference that the accused acted with the subjective intention to kill the deceased.
Hange was convicted of killing Kandovazu, with whom he was in a romantic relationship, on September 27, 2011, at her residence in the informal settlement of Havana in Wanaheda, Windhoek.
According to the charge sheet, he hit the deceased with unknown blunt object(s) on her head, tried to strangle her and/or stabbed her at least twice with a knife.
Kandovazu died on the scene due to blood loss caused by one of the stab wounds while the injuries caused by the blunt force also contributed to the deceased’s demise.
State pathologist, Dr Yuri Vasin told the court that Kandovazu, who was 21 years old at the time of her death, was so severely beaten that her brain was swollen and bleeding and she had various abrasions all over her body.
The case has been postponed to tomorrow for submissions of the sentence and Hange, who has no previous convictions, remains in custody.