WINDHOEK - Jan Benedictus Fredericks, the man accused of murdering retired school teacher Magrietha Aletta Thirion with a wooden pole at her residence in Keetmanshoop in 2012, was yesterday convicted of murder and robbery in the Windhoek High Court.
Thirion died as a result of severe head injuries in the Katutura state hospital on 6 November - a day after the attack was carried out. It was further alleged that after he attacked Thirion, Fredericks robbed her of a Nokia cellphone, SIM card, laptop and a charger as well as a bed sheet and duvet cover.
He confessed to the murder and robbery upon his arrest, but disputed the confession during his trial. Presiding Judge Nate Ndauendapo subsequently admitted the confession into evidence after a trial within a trial.
During trial, Fredericks raised an alibi defence, saying that he was at work in Keetmanshoop from 08h00 to 17h00 on the day in question.
Judge Ndauendapo, however, found that the alibi defence was shown to be false beyond a reasonable doubt.
According to the judge, Fredericks was seen at the house of the deceased on the morning of 6 November 2012 by one of the State witnesses as well as in the vicinity by another witness.
“He pointed out the scene of crime and how he committed the crimes and most importantly he confessed to murdering the deceased and then stealing the cellphone and the laptop,” the judge said.
“The accused was evasive, his evidence littered with contradictions and lies.”
With regards to the robbery charge, Judge Ndauendapo said it appears that the items were removed from the house after the deceased was hit with the plank and was laying in a pool of blood on the stoep.
“She was still alive when she was found by the witnesses,” the judge reiterated.
He further said that it was after Fredericks had hit the deceased with the wooden plank that he stole the laptop, phone and bedsheet and therefore the crime of robbery with aggravating circumstances was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.
Fredericks will return to court tomorrow for pre-sentencing procedures from custody where he has been kept since his arrest.
Mbanga Siyomunji represents Fredericks on instructions of Legal Aid and the prosecution by Advocate Dominic Lisulo.
2019-10-17 06:39:48 | 3 months ago