A man convicted of killing a woman in Mariental by shooting her in the head with a stolen pistol was sentenced to an effective 30 years behind bars by Windhoek High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg yesterday.
Mario Francois Mensah (39) was sentenced to 25 years on the murder conviction, two years for assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, N$4 000 fine or one year imprisonment for pointing of a firearm, one year for theft.
He was also handed a fine of N$6 000 or two years for possession of a firearm and ammunition without a licence, five years for attempted murder and N$4 000 or one year for discharging of a firearm in public.
Liebenberg found that Mensah had the intent to murder when he shot Christina Martha Adams in her forehead from a distance of about 20 cm.
Mensah had denied the murder, but admitted that he fired the fatal shot.
According to the charge sheet, Mensah killed Adams by shooting her in the forehead with a stolen firearm after she came out of her shack to enquire why he assaulted Bennedine Elriko Adams (Benno) with a liquor bottle.
He was further convicted of attempted murder for pointing the firearm and shooting at another man, while he also pointed the firearm to three persons.
All of this happened during the early morning hours of 23 December 2017 in Mariental according to the indictment.
Although the prosecution asked the court to remove Mensah from society for life as he is a danger to society with violent tendencies, Judge Liebenberg said he is satisfied that Mensah showed genuine remorse during his testimony.
The accused took the court into his confidence and spared no details about his circumstances, the judge said.
He further said that while intoxication cannot be used as justification for heinous crimes such as murder, in this instance, he found that Mensah’s state of sobriety did play a role in his actions.
However, the judge continued, notwithstanding the intoxication, the offence he is convicted of is serious and involved a firearm and it was not necessary for Mensah to have used the firearm
He further said that the fact that the deceased was a vulnerable woman did not deter Mensah and it was a senseless murder.
The judge went on to say that society expects courts to protect them from such conduct as that of the accused and to impose sentences that will deter would-be offenders.
“The courts must echo society’s indignation,” the judge stressed. “It is not acceptable that members of society cannot walk free in the street or be safe in their own homes.”