A farmworker from the Mariental district was sentenced to 25 years imprisonment on Wednesday, for a conviction on the murder of his wife of 21 years.
Windhoek High Court Judge Naomi Shivute had convicted Andrew Hermanus Johannes Scott (56) in May this year of murder read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, but acquitted him on a second charge of defeating the course of justice for allegedly hiding the dead body for two days under blankets in the room he was living.
He was charged with killing Anna Scott on 2 August 2017.
Her body was discovered two days later on 4 August.
He denied all the charges when his trial started.
During the conviction judgment, Shivute said that she considered instructions the accused put to witnesses through his State-funded lawyer, Mbanga Siyomunji that the victim charged at him and that she hit her head against the bedpost when he pushed her away.
She further said that although such instructions were put to witnesses, they were abandoned and the accused testified in his own defence that he became angry when the victim told him it was her body when he questioned her about sleeping with other men.
She further said it was Scott’s own testimony that he threw her onto the ground and aggressively trampled on her private parts.
With regards to sentencing, the judge said it is evident that a custodial sentence is undoubtedly unavoidable.
However, she said, the accused committed a domestic violence offence which is viewed in a very serious light. “The accused murdered his wife of 21 years. His actions caused his family to fall apart. The impact of this offence has a serious effect on the lives of the accused and the deceased’s children. The minor children are left without a mother and father figure to look after them,” the judge remarked.
She went on to say that the accused brutally attacked the deceased whilst she is under the influence of intoxicating liquor. “The accused trampled on the deceased’s private parts as well as on her head several times. These are sensitive or vulnerable parts of the body. This act of brutality is unsurpassed in comparison to cases handled by this court in the recent past. It is hardly imaginable that a husband could assault his wife the way the accused did,” the judge stated.
In the end, the judge said, the personal circumstances, the fact he is a first offender at the ripe age of 56 and the fact that he has been in custody since 4 August 2017 is by far outweighed by the sheer brutality of the offence. She said he is convicted of a very serious offence that is aggravated by the fact that it occurred in a domestic setting, which calls for a stiffer sentence. According to the judge, the interest of society demands that it should be given recognition when sentences are imposed in cases of this nature.
The State was represented by Advocate Marthino Olivier.