The High Court bench of appeal is left to decide the fate of a man appealing his conviction and sentence of 27 years imprisonment for kidnapping and raping a 23-year-old woman.
Judges Herman January and Naomi Shivute will give a ruling in the 35-year-old Bradley Coleman’s case on 4 February 2022 after having heard oral submissions last week.
Coleman’s lawyer Jermaine Muchali argued the Windhoek Regional Court magistrate Alexis Diergaardt erred in law when she convicted and sentenced him when there was no evidence beyond reasonable doubt of Coleman raping the complainant.
Muchali further argued despite undisputed evidence of Coleman having tied up the complainant with cable ties and placing an adhesive tape over her mouth, the two consumed alcohol and had consensual sex after he untied her and apologised for what he had done.
“There is no evidence of the victim being forced to take alcohol or do anything else. So, the evidence of the complainant is a fabrication of what transpired. Her version is merely an afterthought,” said Muchali.
On the sentence, Muchali said the court failed to put into account the personal circumstances of Coleman. He further said the mitigating factors were enough for the court to move away from a minimum sentence imposed on all counts.
Muchali said the court overemphasised the seriousness of the offence and the interest of society when the judge imposed a sentence of 27 years on him.
The State represented by Palmer Khumalo argued there was sufficient evidence proving Coleman’s guilt in respect of the two rape charges.
Khumalo said there was nothing consensual that occurred between the victim and Coleman, questioning why would he tie up the complainant if she had agreed to have sexual intercourse with him.
On the duplication of charges, which Coleman is claiming, Khumalo denied there was duplication.
“The evidence needed to prove the offence of kidnapping is not the same as the evidence needed to prove the offences of rape. The elements of the offences are very different,” he explained.
According to Khumalo, the appeal is baseless and should be dismissed.
Coleman was convicted on two counts of rape and a charge of kidnapping, for the events that took place on 1 and 2 February 2019.
At the start of the 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 guesthouse, 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 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