Outjo man guilty of murdering six-year-old

Home Crime and Courts Outjo man guilty of murdering six-year-old

Roland Routh

Windhoek-A man from Outjo was convicted of killing his six-year-old stepson during the evening of May 15 to 16, 2013.

High Court Judge Naomi Shivute made the ruling yesterday, which was in addition to a conviction that he killed the mother of the boy and his ex-girlfriend on July 31, 2013.

The mother of the boy was killed while the suspect was on bail for the boy’s murder, She was stabbed 21 times with a knife in broad daylight in front of witnesses.

Sageus Somaeb, 40, pleaded guilty to the charge of murder relating to Charlotte Gaingos at the start of his trial and was convicted accordingly, but denied guilt on the charge that he murdered six-year-old Remember Gaingob, and on two charges of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm (GBH) and one charge of attempting to defeat the course of justice.

Judge Shivute acquitted Somaeb on the charge that he assaulted Gaingob by hitting him with a piece of wire all over his body.

According to the judge there, was no evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that Somaeb assaulted Gaingob with the intention to injure him and as such he must be given the benefit of the doubt.

However, with regard to the assault on Gaingos, the judge said there was evidence from various state witnesses that Somaeb assaulted her with a stone and that she suffered a fractured rib.

She said Somaeb’s version that he was not in the presence of Gaingos on the day in question was a blatant lie as state witnesses placed him at the scene.

With regard to the murder of Gaingob, the judge said since there were no eyewitnesses to the crime, the state’s case rested on circumstantial evidence.

According to Judge Shivute, when assessing circumstantial evidence, the court should not approach the evidence on a piecemeal basis, but must subject each piece of evidence to a consideration of whether it excludes the reasonable possibility that the version of the accused could be true.

What is required from the court, the judge said, is to consider the evidence in its totality to be able to draw inferences that are consistent with the proven facts and exclude every other reasonable inference.
She said although Somaeb gave an explanation that he hit Gaingob on the buttocks with a shoe and that Gaingob fell on his head, the post-mortem report did not support such an allegation.

“According to the doctor who conducted the post-mortem examination on the body of the child, the cause of death was asphyxia due to suffocation,” Judge Shivute observed.
She said that the observations made by the doctor were more consistent with an unnatural death than a natural death.

“The state having established beyond a reasonable doubt that the deceased died of asphyxia due to suffocation, the only question that remained is who is responsible for the deceased’s death.”

She said there was evidence that there were only three people in the house where Gaingob died: The deceased who was six years old, his young sister and the accused who was the only adult.

“Having assessed the evidence in its totality and having considered the circumstances and probabilities pertaining to the case and that the deceased died of asphyxia due to suffocation, there is no evidence that someone else had access to the premises on the fateful day, apart from the three occupants who were there. The only inference to be drawn is that the accused, being the only adult, is the one who suffocated the deceased,” Judge Shivute ruled.