SWAKOPMUND – Convicted Walvis Bay kidnappers Logan Pretorius (26), his fiancé Sandra Riobo (22), Ashley Januarie (25) and Curven Vries (26) were fined N$8 000 or three years imprisonment on three counts of kidnapping each and N$5 000 or three years imprisonment for assault with the intend to do grievous bodily harm.
The four were sentenced in the Swakopmund Regional Court yesterday by Magistrate Gaynor Poulton, who also suspended two years from each sentence on the condition that they are not convicted of the same crime within the next five years.
The sentencing comes almost five years after the four were arrested for kidnapping and assaulting three minor boys, Carlos Mukuve and Levi and Edward Goreseb in Meersig after suspecting them of trying to steal a pitbull and allegedly killing a puppy.
The four chased the boys in a white bakkie, caught them and took them to Pretorius’ house, which is said to be five minutes away from the Walvis Bay Police Station in town.
The boys were detained for at least five hours.
The three boys during the duration of the case, testified that they were physically abused with a spanner, a hammer, a panga and a shovel by the four and bitten by dogs on August 28, 2014.
They were also verbally abused, they further testified.
At the time of the commission of the crimes, Riobo now a mother, was only 17 years old. She pleaded for leniency and admitted that that their actions were cruel, serious and inhumane although she did not physically take part in any of the assaults and was only guilty by association.
However, she said that the kids were not assaulted for hours.
State prosecutor Tresia Hafeni, who proposed that the suspects be given jail sentences, in her closing arguments said that kidnapping is a serious offence and is on the increase although this specific case is an isolated one.
In her sentencing, Poulton said that the crimes committed were serious. She explained that the court has considered that the medical evidence indicating injuries of the assault was not of a serious nature, as well as the fact that all offenders were relatively young when the crime was committed, and the previous drug convictions of Pretorius and Riobo. Januarie and Vries have no previous convictions.
“This is also an isolated case taken in consideration the circumstances in which the accused was after his dog died. However, I have to emphasise that their actions were unacceptable. Also a human life cannot be compared to that of a dog, however one should not disregard a person’s love for an animal. Due to these factors the court opted for fines coupled with presentment to deter the accused to commit a similar crime again,” she said.
Eveline de Klerk
2019-06-11 09:41:00 13 days ago