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State wants assault convict jailed for 3 years

2021-08-16  Roland Routh

State wants assault convict jailed for 3 years

A 23-year-old Henties Bay man, who was convicted by Windhoek High Court Judge Claudia Claasen on two counts of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, will be sentenced this Thursday. 

Prosecutor Henry Muhongo asked the court to send Gilbert Andrew Louw to jail for three years on the first count and three months on the second count. 

Defence counsel Theo Carolus argued his client does not deserve to go to jail and instead proposed a wholly suspended sentence of two years on the first count and 12 months on the second count. 

According to him, it was a tragedy, but a sibling rivalry that went horribly wrong. He further said his client did not intend to cause the death of his sister and further that he is a first offender who deserves the mercy of the court.

 Louw admitted that he stabbed his sister but denied that he killed her during his plea. At the end of the trial, Claasen acquitted him on the murder charge but convicted him on the lesser charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm read with the provisions of the Combatting of Domestic Violence Act. 

He admitted that he stabbed his sister, Jennifer Nicolene Louw, once in the shoulder in the early morning hours of 24 December 2016 in Henties Bay and denied that he inflicted the other stab wounds observed on her body. The victim died two days later in the Swakopmund state hospital. 

The judge also convicted Louw on a count of assault for assaulting the boyfriend of the deceased, Iwan Nanub, by hitting him with a ceramic mug on the head with the intent to cause him grievous bodily harm. He pleaded not guilty to both charges.

 In her judgment, Claasen said the post-mortem report is tainted with defects and inconsistencies and she finds it difficult to blindly embrace its findings. The judge also had a problem with the failure of the State to produce the patient file of the deceased, which would at least illuminate the need for the laparotomy, if there was a need for one. 

She further said that the evidence of the police officer that investigated the incident that he was unaware of the operation could have been an attempt to salvage the State’s case. The judge also said that there was a substantial period when the deceased was not seen and it is not inconceivable that she injured herself or could have been attacked by a third party as she was drunk, aggressive and uncontrollable. “A simple suspicion that the accused inflicted the multiple stab wounds on the deceased is not enough,” the judge remarked.

2021-08-16  Roland Routh

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