WINDHOEK – Windhoek High Court Judge Dinnah Usiku yesterday sentenced to life imprisonment, a man who admitted to killing his girlfriend on June 20, 2016, by hitting her on the head with a brick and a hammer, stabbing her multiple times and strangling her.
She died after being stabbed eight times and being strangled with an electric cord.
David Soroseb, 27, was also sentenced to six months in jail for an assault he perpetrated on 20-year-old Jeanet Tatamigu !Haoses with whom he was in a romantic relationship and with whom he co-habited.
Judge Usiku convicted Soroseb on a charge of murder with direct intent on his own admission and after a short trial, convicted him on the assault charge which he denied.
According to Usiku, even though the accused tendered a plea of guilty to the charge of murder with direct intent, the offence was a premeditated one as evidence was heard that Soroseb threatened to kill the deceased as he suspected her of being involved in a romantic relationship with another man. She said though the accused pleaded guilty as a sign of remorse, the opposite could also be true – he did so because of overwhelming evidence.
In her view, the first thing in showing genuine remorse is to acknowledge the wrongfulness in one’s conduct and then demonstrate remorsefulness and this instance it did not occur.
She said the accused admitted to hitting the deceased on her head with a brick, whereafter he also assaulted her with a hammer before he stabbed her eight times with a knife. “These were dangerous weapons that the accused had used in order to kill the deceased,” Judge Usiku stated and continued: “Accused also admitted to having strangled the deceased with an electric cord”.
She further said it is therefore evident the killing of the deceased by the accused is so overwhelming that he had no other choice, but to plead guilty.
“The deceased was killed in a very cruel and gruesome manner. Pictures of the deceased’s body as seen from the photo plan leaves one in disbelief that a human being could subject another human to such cruel and gruesome manner or treatment,” the judge said.
She went on to say that the role of the court in criminal cases such as this one, should be to ensure that substantial justice is done to both the victims of the crime as well as those convicted of such crimes.
“This court is well aware that there are some perceptions in our society that the accused’s rights and privileges are more protected than those of the victims of crime, many of whom in many cases may be unable to protect themselves or their interests because they are either dead like in this case or otherwise incapacitated in the course of crimes committed against them,” the judge further stated.
According to Usiku, in sentencing the accused, the court is entitled to take judicial notice of the increasing prevalence of crime involving domestic violence, committed in this jurisdiction. “Thus, the view taken by our courts when considering sentences in relation to specific offences, in this case concerning violence in the domestic setting, is to impose heavier sentences,” Judge Usiku said, adding this could deter other potential offenders.
She said the deceased was deprived of her life at a very young age and the accused was supposed to be her protector, but shamelessly killed her in cold blood.
In view of the circumstances of the case, the court has no other option than to impose a lengthy prison term, Judge Usiku concluded.