WINDHOEK - The man who stabbed his girlfriend and mother of his now eight-year-old daughter a shocking 27 times with several knives in front of her four-year-old son in what he described as a moment of weakness was yesterday sentenced to 30 years imprisonment.
The stiff jail term was delivered in the Windhoek High Court by Judge Nate Ndauendapo.
Johny Ryno Diergaardt, 36, was convicted for the murder of 22-year-old Tiffany Tanita Lewin by viciously stabbing her multiple times on 3 March 2014 at the room he rented along Garnet Street in Khomasdal.
The judge suspended five years for five years on condition that Diergaardt is not convicted of murder during the period of suspension.
According to Judge Ndauendapo, there is no doubt that the crime of murder is a serious crime which calls for severe punishment.
“The deceased was a defenceless and innocent human being who died at the hands of her boyfriend,” the judge said.
“She was butchered in the cruellest manner imaginable.”
He further said the son of the deceased tried to defend her by asking the accused not to stab his mother and even stabbed the accused in the leg, in defence of his mother, but to no avail.
“The accused just continued stabbing the deceased as if she was an animal, one of the knives was found stuck in her head,” the judge further remarked.
He went on to say the pain she must have endured must have been very profound.
According to the judge, Diergaardt’s actions towards another human being was simply beyond belief and the sentence must reflect the true nature and seriousness of the crime.
“Every person’s right to life is entrenched in our constitution and the accused violently took that away from her,” the judge said.
The deceased was just 22-years-old, barely started her adult life and she left two minor children who must now grow up without the love and care of a mother and father because of the actions of the accused.
Judge Ndauendapo said courts must send out a strong message that gender based violence is totally unacceptable and that those who make themselves guilty of this crime will be sentenced to very long prison terms.
However, the judge said, he observed the accused very closely when he testified and could clearly see that he was genuinely remorseful for what he did.
He went on to say that Diergaardt took the court into his confidence and also wrote a letter to the family of the deceased in which he expressed sincere remorse.
The judge further stated Diergaardt had already spent five years and seven months in custody awaiting finalisation of his trial and he also pointed out that Dr Sieberhagen found that Diergaardt acted with diminished criminal capacity.
The judge further found that the murder was not pre-meditated and that Diergaardt acted out of character as testified to by various State witnesses.
Diergaardt stood impassive during the reading of the sentence and quickly made his way to the holding cells after the sentence was announced while some of his family members started crying uncontrollably and were unceremoniously escorted out by the court orderlies.
The State was represented by advocate Seredine Jacobs and Diergaardt by Boris ‘The Mouth’ Isaacks.