A man who was convicted of culpable homicide for stabbing another man once in the chest causing his death was sentenced to an effective five years in jail yesterday morning by regional magistrate Vanessa Stanley.
She sentenced Joel Kaunda Amunyela to seven years but suspended two years for a period of five years on the condition that he is not convicted of culpable homicide or assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm during the period of suspension.
Amunyela was initially charged with murder over the killing of Julius Nyambali at Noyona Bar in Okahandja on 22 July 2014, but after the trial, he was convicted of culpable homicide instead.
The magistrate at the time found that he did not have the intention to kill Nyambali, but that he should have foreseen that the deceased could die as a result of his actions.
During his trial, Amunyela claimed that Nyambali was the aggressor and followed him from the bar when he tried to leave.
According to Stanley, while Amunyela (age unknown) was convicted of a very serious offence that is prevalent in the country, he is of a relatively young age and has three minor children and their only breadwinner.
“The offense was not premeditated and appears to have happened in the heat of the moment – a fateful error in judgement which not only cut the life of the deceased short but which also no doubt severely impacted the life of the offender,” the magistrate stated.
She further said Amunyela showed no signs of remorse and did not take the court into his confidence to express how the event has impacted him and whether he is remorseful for his action on that fateful day and the fact that a person died at his hands.
“Although a life was lost, the court is alive to the fact that the offender is not convicted of murder, but of culpable homicide which is generally regarded as a less serious transgression in that a different type of intent was attributed to the offence itself,” Stanley stressed.
However, she said, a custodial sentence for the offence is inescapable despite the mitigating factors.
She further said that because of the prevalence of this type of offence, deterrent sentences are called for and society expects the court to impose sentences that will not only deter the offender but would-be offenders as well.
Amunyela who was on bail since 2014, was represented by Logino Goraseb from Velikoshi Inc. and the State by Emma Mayavero.