A man, convicted of killing a boy he had believed to be his son, was sentenced to an effective 30 years imprisonment yesterday by Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo.
The judge sentenced Simon Muno Reeves Dawid (50) to 35 years but suspended five years for a period of five years on condition that he is not convicted of murder during the time of suspension.
Judge Ndauendapo convicted Dawid for the brutal murder of four-year-old Athanosius Katholo Reeves Simbo. “There is no doubt that murder is a serious crime, which calls for severe punishment,” the judge said.
“The deceased was a defenceless and innocent child who died at the hands of the accused. He looked up to the accused as a protector; instead, he murdered him in the most brutal and painful manner imaginable.”
The judge further said the victim was merely four years old; he had his life ahead of him – but sadly, that life was cut short at the hands of the accused.
The judge went on to say the young boy’s screams for forgiveness, “sorry papa, and sorry papa” fell on deaf ears, as the accused went on bashing his head against the floor.
Judge Ndauendapo further said that Dawid has not shown any remorse, but instead opted to blame an innocent man, a certain Shiimi as the one who caused the death of the victim.
During his testimony in mitigation of sentence, Dawid first repeated his claim that it was Shimii, a man who also stayed at the house, who killed the boy, but later recanted and admitted during cross-examination by prosecutor Eric Moyo that he was the one who caused the boy’s death when he repeatedly slammed his head on the floor of his house.
According to the judge, this contention was shown to be false, as the evidence against the accused was overwhelming that he caused the death of the victim.
“His motive was that people were talking that he was not the father of the deceased,” the judge said. He added that even if that was the case, the accused had no reason to take the life of the victim.He was innocent, the judge said, and the sins of the mother should not have been visited upon him. His State-funded lawyer Vernon Lutibezi asked the court to show Dawid mercy, as he is a first offender at the relative advanced age of 50 and not to punish him to break him, but to give him a chance to rehabilitate and be a father to his other two children.
Judge Ndauendapo, however, said the personal circumstances of Dawid is by far outweighed by the sheer viciousness of the attack against the four-year-old.
“Violence against women and children, the most vulnerable members of our society, continues unabated.
The courts are trying their level best to impose severe sentences to send a clear message that murderers will be dealt with severely. High levels of crime invariably result in the public demanding that ever more severe sentences be imposed on perpetrators of these crimes,” the judge said before he sentenced Dawid.