ONGWEDIVA – Oshakati High Court Judge Johanna Salionga this week sentenced a 53-year-old man to 35 years imprisonment for murder and rape.
Stephanus Paulus received 25 years imprisonment for murder and another 15 years for rape.
Paulus was convicted for murder and rape last year in November at the same court.
Paulus was on trial for murder for stabbing to death a 74-year-old pensioner multiple times after failing to pay him N$370 for work he had done for her.
The victim was stabbed in the chest.
The murder took place at Uukwalumbe B village in Okahao during March 2015.
He was arrested several days later after being on the run.
Two years after the murder incident, Paulus raped an eight-year-old minor at Uukwawananyanga village at Outapi.
He was found in the room by the victim’s guardian and was subsequently arrested.
He denied guilt throughout the trial.
During the sentencing, Salionga said the murder victim died a violent and gruesome death, as the accused used a dangerous weapon.
“The accused attacked the deceased fiercely by subjecting her to physical violence until he ended her life just because of N$370. Surely, the accused had other means to recover his money, instead of taking the law into his own hand when he killed the deceased,” remarked Salionga.
Salionga said the degree of the violence meted out was inexcusable and is exhibiting horrifying aggression.
“He completely disregarded her bodily integrity and did not dare thereof to assist the deceased after the stabbing – instead, he left her to die,” Salionga said further.
On the rape charge, Salionga said what is aggravating is that the accused was housed by the guardian and was allowed to set up a tent behind her house.
Salionga found that the aggravating factors are extreme and outweigh his circumstance – and therefore, finds no substantial and compelling circumstances warranting deviation from the minimum sentence prescribed by the combating domestic Violence Act of 2000.
“[The] accused invaded the room of the victim in a house in which he was once housed and unlawfully detained the victim by locking her in her room. He breached the trust bestowed on him by the owner of the house,” Salionga said.
With regards to the interest of society, Salionga said it is common cause that the defenceless women and girls have to be protected at all costs.
“Society expects the courts to impose sentences that suitably match the gravity and prevalence of the offences committed,” said Salionga.