Former long distance bus driver Victor Elia, who was convicted of killing his student girlfriend and dumping her remains alongside the B1 road in January 2017, was sentenced to an effective 30 years imprisonment on Wednesday in the Windhoek High Court.
High Court judge Eileen Rakow convicted him on a charge of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances and defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
All charges are in relation to the death of his girlfriend Iyaloo Ndapandula Hainghumbi (25) between 16 and 17 January 2017.
It is stated the 40-year-old Elia met up with the deceased during the 16 and/or 17 January 2017 in Windhoek and killed her by kicking and/or beating her all over her body and head with unknown objects and thereafter, he robbed her.
Having killed the deceased, he dumped her body next to the city’s Western Bypass and stole her cellphone, handbag, jacket, and pair of shoes.
He then allegedly disposed of the stolen items and cleaned the vehicle with which he had transported the deceased’s body to the scene where it was later found, to remove traces of blood in an attempt to destroy or conceal evidence of the killing.
Throughout the trial, Elia denied all the allegations against him and left it to the State to prove their case against him.
Judge Rakow sentenced Elia to 30 years for the murder, three years for the robbery and two years for defeating or obstructing the course of justice convictions. She, however, ordered that the sentences should run concurrently leaving Elia with 30 years.
According to the judge, courts are called upon to strike a balance between competing factors such as retribution, deterrence and the interest of society as well as mercy when delivering sentences commensurate to the offences on which the accused was convicted.
She went on to say that the interest of society is not only the reaction of members of society who cries out against instances of domestic violence and murder but a broader sense of a sentence that serves the society.
“Society is indeed served when appropriate sentences are handed down, that takes into account the seriousness of the crime, but also the fact that the offender should eventually become a productive member of society and be re-integrated into the society after he served his sentence,” the judge stated.
However, she said, when the circumstances of the offence are looked at, society will be best served if the accused receive a sentence that will not only deter him but other members of society from committing similar offences. She said that the deceased suffered a number of very serious injuries and died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head. She further said that the pathologist who examined the body indicated that he observed a lot of dry blood on her clothing and head as well as lacerated wounds and abrasions placed on the hairy surface of the head. On the face, she said, the pathologist observed massive subgaleal contusions and the base of the skull had a hinge fracture and further found bleeding under the skin itself and then underneath the skull, bleeding on the brain itself. “The deceased was indeed subjected to a very serious attack,” the judge remarked.
She continued that society looks at the judicial system for its protection against perpetrators of the crime of murder and especially when it happens within a domestic relationship. The judge further said that in recent years, the courts have seen a number of these murder taking place and the violence against women and children are further escalating.
Judge Rakow said that after considering all the factors, she came to the conclusion that a lengthy period of direct imprisonment is unavoidable in the circumstances.
Salomon Kanyemba prosecuted and Mbanga Siyomunji represented Elia on instructions of legal aid.