12 December 2012

Namibia: Accused Man Admits He Murdered His Wife

A WINDHOEK resident admitted in the High Court yesterday that he murdered his wife in a knife attack in February last year.

Gerson Uri-Khob (51) offered a plea of guilty to a charge of murder when his trial started before Judge Nate Ndauendapo in the High Court in Windhoek. He however denied guilt on an additional charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.

Uri-Khob is accused of murdering his wife, Lydia Uri-Khos (41), in the Goreangab area of Windhoek on February 11 2011. Uri-Khos died after she had been stabbed repeatedly with a knife.

He is further accused of assaulting a teenage girl by hitting her on the mouth with a piece of metal pipe when she tried to intervene while he was assaulting Uri-Khos with the pipe.

In a plea explanation which defence lawyer Willem Visser read out in court, Uri-Khob admitted that he had stabbed his wife with a knife, that the stabbing was unlawful and intentional, and that it caused her death.

Uri-Khob added that he and Uri-Khos had been living together as husband and wife, but were separated at the time of the incident.

On the day of the incident they were involved in an argument about money, and this led to the stabbing, Uri-Khob stated.

Not satisfied with the extent of the admissions which Uri-Khob made, Deputy Prosecutor General Belinda Wantenaar did not accept his plea, and proceeded to present testimony from State witnesses to the court.

The girl who was allegedly assaulted by Uri-Khob told the court she was watching television when she heard Uri-Khos screaming outside. She then saw Uri-Khob beating his wife with a piece of metal pipe.

The girl, who is now 15 years old, testified that she tried to stop him by going to stand in front of Uri-Khos, and that she was then also struck, sustaining a cut to her lip.

She testified that Uri-Khos then ran into her house and tried to push the door closed from inside. Uri-Khob managed to force the door open, though, and as she ran to a neighbouring house to summon help she saw him take a knife from his pocket, the girl said.

After that, she saw Uri-Khob coming out of the house. He went behind the house, and tried to cut his own throat there, the witness said.

When she went into the house, she found Uri-Khos sitting under a table in a pool of blood, she testified. Uri-Khos was dead.

She had been stabbed at least eight times, it was established when a postmortem examination was done on her, the court heard. The injury which killed her was a deep cut to her neck, which went through her neck muscles, major blood vessels, and her trachea, Dr Yuri Vasin told the court.

Testifying in his own defence, Uri-Khob told the court that his wife had started to stay out late at night, and then chased him from their home when he complained about that.

She then obtained a domestic violence protection order against him two weeks before the incident, he confirmed.

While he admitted that he had stabbed Uri-Khos, Uri-Khob claimed he did not intend to kill her. He also said he did not know how many times he had stabbed her.

The knife that he used had been lying on a table in the house, and was not taken from his pocket, he said.

The trial is continuing.

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