A man convicted of murdering a toddler boy he had believed to be his own son will hear his fate early next month.
Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo reserved his sentencing judgment to 11 November after hearing oral submissions from the State and the defence in the trial of Simon Muno Reeves Dawid (50).
His State-funded lawyer Vernon Lutibezi asked the court to show Dawid mercy as he is a first offender at the relatively 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. During his testimony in mitigation of sentence, Dawid first repeated his claim that a certain man murdered the toddler 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.
“I made a mistake,” he told the court and asked for mercy and a lighter sentence. I know and understand that the court will have to send me to corrections (sic), but I ask for a lighter sentence since this is my first case.
Lutibezi in his submissions told the court that a sentence of 28 years should satisfy the interest of society and be fair to the accused.
The mother of the boy, Stella Simbo, told the court that she is not God who can forgive Dawid. According to her, the death of her son had a severe effect on her and her family, especially the boy’s grandfather to whom he was very close.
She further told the court that after the death of the deceased, she started abusing alcohol frequently and did other things she wasn’t supposed to.
“Why did he not just return my child to me if he believed he was not the father instead of killing my child,” she lamented.
The woman further admitted that she had an affair with another man at the same time she was with Dawid.
Moyo told the court that the conduct of the accused was callous and inhumane. “The accused has a callous disregard for human life,” he said. According to him, the offence is aggravated by the fact that it happened within a domestic setting.
He further told the judge that Dawid was supposed to be the protector of the child, but instead, he turned into a monster that took his innocent life.
He went on to say the sins of the mother was not to be visited on the boy, an innocent soul.
Moyo asked the court to sentence Dawid to life imprisonment.
Dawid was convicted of killing Athanosius Katholo Reeves Simbo who was four years old at the time of his demise in a fit of rage after he discovered he was not the biological father of the boy.
According to the indictment, the mother of the boy and the accused were in a romantic relationship at the time of the boy’s birth on August 20, 2010, and the mother had informed him it was his child.
During 2012, the relationship between the mother of the boy and the accused ended and the boy remained in the custody of the accused, who cared for him as a father and he shared a residence with the boy, who was financially dependent on the accused.
But, according to the indictment, the accused became worried about rumours that he was not the boy’s biological father and on 7 July 2015 after a visit with friends, he locked himself and the boy in his residence in Katutura and proceeded to hit and throw the boy on the ground and against the wall of his residence, killing him due to blunt force trauma to the head.
Subsequent DNA tests confirmed the boy was not the biological son of the accused.