Court hears of  abuse and neglect in murder trial

Home Crime and Courts Court hears of  abuse and neglect in murder trial

WINDHOEK – Defence counsel Boris Isaacks last week took a man accused of killing his girlfriend and mother of his daughter through a series of incidents that marred his relationship with the deceased, in the Windhoek High Court before Judge Nate Ndauendapo.

Johny Ryno Diergaardt is charged with the murder of Tiffany Tanita Lewin, with whom he has a now eight-year-old daughter, on March 3, 2014 at the room he rented at Erf 427, Garnet Street in Khomasdal. According to the state he stabbed the deceased at least 27 times in front of her four-year old son with different knives.

Diergaardt told the court their troubles started after their child was born in September 2011. According to him Lewin would leave the child alone and go out partying with her friends. He spoke of various instances when he was called by the sister of the deceased to come and fetch his child after the deceased had vanished for days on end. This, he said, caused friction at his place of employment as he frequently had to take time off to go to Rehoboth to get his child. He said that at some stage he was given an ultimatum by his supervisor to choose between his job and his private life. 

Diergaardt further told the court of an instance where the deceased tried to stab him with a knife in his neck and he suffered a wound on his hand when he managed to block the blow. He also informed the court that during April or May of 2012 he had to go to Walvis Bay for a job interview and when he returned was informed that his child was crying and that the deceased had not been at home for several days. He then went to fetch the child and she stayed with him for about a week before the mother of the deceased called him to ask him to give the deceased another chance to look after the child. 

According to Diergaardt, he agreed and for a while it went better. About the day of the murder, Diergaardt said that the deceased arrived at his flat and started insulting him and cussed him on his mother. He said they were busy arguing and the next moment he saw the deceased lying in a pool of blood and he panicked and ran away. About the deceased’s four-year-old son trying to stop him, he has no recollection nor of when and how the deceased was stabbed. During the trial it emerged that after he stabbed the deceased, Diergaardt stood over the boy and said “this is for the humiliation and disappointments throughout the years”.

According to the indictment Lewin and her son arrived during the early evening hours to collect some property which the accused earlier the same day had removed from her handbag.
He then stabbed her at least 27 times with knives after which he fled the scene. Newspaper reports at the time indicated that the four-year-old boy tried to intervene and managed to stab the accused on his upper thigh in an attempt to stop the accused from continuing to stab his mother.

The deceased died on the scene due to blood loss.
The accused was arrested when he returned to his room later that night. The state is represented by Advocate Seredine Jacobs and the trial is set to continue on June 3 for submissions on the verdict. Diergaardt remains in custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility’s section for trial-awaiting prisoners.