Hendrik Nowoseb, 25, who returned to complete his mission of killing his former girlfriend while she was recuperating from a stab wound he had inflicted on her the previous night, was sentenced yesterday to an effective 44 years in jail by Windhoek High Court Judge Christi Liebenberg.
He was convicted by Judge Liebenberg on August 15 for first attempting to kill Willemina Tsauses on December 6, 2014 by stabbing her in the chest with a butcher’s knife and for murder for going to the Outjo State Hospital where she was recuperating the next day, under the pretext of wanting to apologise, and stabbing her again multiple times in the upper torso, neck and head, killing her. Nowoseb was sentenced to 40 years for the murder conviction and to eight years on the attempted murder charge of which four years were ordered to run concurrently with the murder sentence.
According to Judge Liebenberg, the accused’s persistent attack on the deceased over two days and the accompanying brutality in the final act poses a certain threat to society and calls for his removal.
“In the recent past society has been horrified by the wave of so-called ‘passion killings’ reported in the media virtually on a daily basis where, mostly women engaged in a romantic relationship, are killed at will for having terminated the relationship,” Judge Liebenberg stated.
In the present case, the judge said, the accused armed himself with a big knife and set out in search of the deceased with the sole intention of killing her.
When he did not succeed in doing just that the first time around, he followed her the next day to the hospital where she was recuperating and finished her off, Judge Liebenberg recounted.
“A hospital is a place of healing where patients are taken care of for medical reasons in order to recuperate and where a person should be safe, certainly not to be subjected to a vicious attack by someone from outside – a fact the accused completely disregarded when he went there with the sole intention to murder. The present killing and horrific circumstances under which it was committed aroused wide outrage and condemnation from society and must be accorded a large measure of recognition in sentencing,” the judge stressed.
He said the current case is one where deterrence and retribution are called for and added that although the court should guard against satisfying public expectation, it should not shut its eyes for what would be in the public interest when sentencing the accused.
According to the judge although the accused was relatively young at 22 years when he committed the horrific offences, he cannot hide behind his youthfulness.
Judge Liebenberg said that at his age, Nowoseb had already fathered two children, was gainfully employed and for all means and purposes lived the life of a matured and adult person.
“The ruthlessness with which the accused committed these crimes reflects adversely on his character, and in my view, despite his relatively young age at that stage he acted like an ordinary criminal and therefore, should be treated as such,” the judge said.
According to the judge, the accused armed himself on both occasions with a deadly weapon which indicates that his actions were premeditated.
“He hid the knife on his body and in a deceiving manner got close to the deceased whereafter he pulled out the
knife and unexpectedly stabbed her with the intention to kill.”