WINDHOEK – A Namibian Defence Force member, convicted of murdering his biological daughter by drowning her in the Goreangab dam in February 2017, was sentenced to an effective 30 years’ imprisonment by the Windhoek High Court.
Gabriel Tulinana David was charged with the murder of five-year-old Cornelia David by drowning her to spite his former girlfriend and mother of his child who had terminated their relationship following a physical attack.
He was further convicted on one count of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and one count of theft. He was sentenced on these counts to two years and six months respectively and these sentences to run concurrently with the sentence on the murder conviction. “Although accused had no previous conviction, sight should not be lost of the crimes committed in a domestic set-up on diverse occasions as indicative of the character of the accused to commit offences involving domestic violence, and therefore society must be protected from the accused by this court as their last line of defence and protection,” High Court Acting Judge Orben Sibeya said.
He said the accused murdered the deceased to get back at his ex-romantic partner. He further said the accused was in a position of trust towards the deceased as his biological daughter and the deceased felt safe and protected by the accused.
“It is aggravating that the accused acted in total disregard to the emotional and physical well-being of his daughter (the deceased) who was innocent, helpless and at the mercy of the accused. I have no doubt that deceased could not appreciate the reasons why the assault was perpetrated on her by her trusted father,” the judge added. He said it has sadly become customary in society that men do not easily accept that their romantic partners may terminate their relationships. “Precious lives of women and children have been lost in the name of romantic relationships,” the judge stated and continued: “This court finds itself duty-bound to send out a stern warning to men to begin to accept that just as romantic relationships commence, so can they be terminated. Men should realise this fact and move on with their lives. Any life lost in the realm of vengeance for termination of a romantic relationship should be condemned in the strongest terms and should attract a severe punishment by the court as an expression of its abhorrence.” Judge Sibeya said offences involving domestic violence in Namibia are alarming and show no signs of subsiding. Therefore, he said, courts should thus mete out severe punishments to convicted persons to deter others from committing similar offences.
He said that he has no doubt that the deceased loved the accused and looked up to him for her protection, safety and comfort, a position of trust which David abused to the core. Mbanga Siyomunji represented David on instructions of legal aid and State Advocate Cliff Lutibezi prosecuted.
2019-10-18 07:19:34 | 11 months ago