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Prisoner allowed to appeal 163-year sentence

2023-07-10  Roland Routh

Prisoner allowed to appeal 163-year sentence

A man who was sentenced to consecutive prison terms of 163 years in 2015 has succeeded in getting leave to appeal the sentences in the Supreme Court.

Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute sentenced Quinton Pieters, a former resident of Keetmanshoop, in 2015 to an effective prison term of 110 years on top of a 53 years sentence for the rape and murder of a 55-year-old school teacher. The 110-year sentence was for a conviction of rape of children in 2004/5.

He applied for leave to appeal only in January 2023 and explained that he applied for leave to appeal so late because he is in custody and is a lay person. 

Also, he said, he wants to appeal his sentence because of the Zedekias Gaingob judgment which makes sentences beyond 37-and-a-half years unconstitutional. 

While the judge said that the Gaingob matter did not specifically deal with instances where a mandatory sentence is involved like in rape cases, the sentence of 110 years she imposed may justify the intervention of the Supreme Court. 

In view of this, she said, she is inclined to grant the leave to appeal for the Supreme Court to pronounce itself on this matter.

Pieters was convicted of three counts of rape and one count of attempted rape as well as a count of theft and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm in the High Court in March 2017.

He was convicted of attempting to rape a then 11-year-old girl near the Koppieslaagte location in Keetmanshoop in August 2004. He was further found guilty of stealing a N$10 note from the girl’s cousin at the same occasion. Judge Shivute also convicted Pieters of the rape of a young woman in June 2005 near Westdene in Keetmanshoop and of assaulting the complainant. In another rape conviction, it was found he violated a 13-year-old girl at Noordhoek in Keetmanshoop in October 2007. He was, however, acquitted on a second charge of rape involving the same girl as the State conceded that it failed to prove this count. The girl testified that Pieters ordered her to conduct oral sex on him, but she refused. The judge also convicted Pieters on a third rape charge for sodomising a 10-year-old boy in October 2007 near the J Stephanus Stadium in Keetmanshoop. 

Judge Shivute sentenced Pieters to five years on the attempted rape count, warned him on the theft count and sentenced him 45 years on each rape count as well as two years on the assault count. She ordered that 10 years of the first and third 45 years be suspended for five years on condition he is not convicted of rape during the period of suspension and further ordered that 10 years of the second 45-year sentence should run concurrently with the first 45-year sentence. 

The judge further ordered that the two-year sentence on the assault count run concurrently with the sentence on the attempted rape count.

2023-07-10  Roland Routh

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