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Convicted rapist appeals 27-year sentence

2021-10-06  Maria Amakali

Convicted rapist appeals 27-year sentence
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A Windhoek resident who was convicted and sentenced to 27 years imprisonment for kidnapping and raping a 23-year-old woman, is appealing his conviction and sentence in the High Court.

Bradley Coleman (35), was convicted on two counts of rape and a charge of kidnapping for events that took place on 1 and 2 February 2019.

Magistrate Alexis Diergaardt on 28 April sentenced Coleman to 15 years imprisonment on each of the two counts of rape. The court suspended three years on one charge for a period of five years on condition that Coleman is not convicted of rape committed during the period of suspension. 

Diergaardt also sentenced him to a one-year jail term for kidnapping – which was to run concurrently with the sentence on the rape counts.

In his appeal, Coleman says, Diergaardt misdirected herself when she convicted him without credible evidence supporting the sexual act of rape on the complainant on the dates in question. 

He says the court failed to assist him when it did not render him assistance to subpoena a crucial witness for his defence. It is his argument that the medical report submitted during his trial was also not conclusive about the forced penetration as alluded to by the complainant.

On his sentence, Coleman says the court over-emphasised the seriousness of the offence and the interest of society when she imposed a sentence of 27 years on him.

He is furthermore arguing that the court failed to apply the principle of mercy as the sentence imposed is shocking and severe, and it disregards the principle of reforming an offender. 

During his trial, Coleman pleaded not guilty to the charges, but admitted to some of the allegations. 

He informed the court that he did what he did out of anger and frustration because the person for whom he wanted to prepare a surprise was not answering her telephone.

The victim informed the court during the trial that Coleman asked for her assistance to prepare for a surprise party for a friend of theirs. He then picked her up on 1 February 2019 and drove to a guest house, where he booked a room.  

Once they were in the room, Coleman allegedly took a knife, ordered her to lie on the floor, and tied her wrists and ankles with cable ties. He also stuck adhesive tape over her mouth. 

He left the room for a while and upon his return, he removed the cable ties with which he had tied her up and the tape over her mouth, and they conversed. 

He again tied her up before he left the room to buy drinks. Upon his return, he told the victim that he was sexually deprived – and after that he raped her. 

She testified that she spent the night in the room, and Coleman raped her again the next morning. 

The victim managed to escape afterwards when she convinced Coleman that she had a dentist appointment that she could not miss. While at the dentist, she told an employee that she was being kept captive and had been raped. 

Judge Hosea Angula postponed the matter for the mentions roll to 18 November.

2021-10-06  Maria Amakali

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