New Era (Windhoek)

31 October 2013

Namibia: Taxi Driver Fined for Assaulting Schoolgirl

Windhoek — The elderly taxi driver who hit a schoolgirl for showing him the middle finger was recently given a fine of N$5 000 upon conviction for assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.

Magistrate Tuvoye Nuule in the Windhoek Magistrate's Court issued the fine on Frans Christian, 57, or in default to spend the next six months in jail. Christian paid the fine. He was convicted for hitting a 14-year old schoolgirl from Jan Möhr High School with a clenched fist causing her nose to bleed.

According to the annexure to the charge sheet Christian hit the girl at an intersection in Windhoek West near her school on February 11 this year. He pleaded not guilty to the charge at the start of his trial.

During submissions in mitigation Christian told the court that he only went to warn the child not to disrespect him and when she did not desist he got angry and hit her.

He said that he realised that he did not need to use his fist, but could have used his belt instead. He said that as a father you can beat your child and if you cannot find anything else you can use your fist.

Seredine Jacobs for the State argued that Christian never disputed the assault on the victim.

She said that Christian got angry and that anger still simmered eight months later as he does not accept responsibility for his actions.

She said that Christian showed no remorse throughout the trial and still tries to put the blame on the child. She recommended a fine of N$1 500 or six months' imprisonment. Magistrate Nuule on the other hand was not in a forgiving mood.

She told Christian that even though he offered to pay for the medical expenses of the child, her mother refused - as she wanted to see him going through the judicial process.

She said that the mental trauma the girl went through couldn't be undermined. According to Nuule, Christian constantly made reference to them, but not once did he apportion blame directly on the complainant.

She said that he did not have the right to chastise someone else's child. The right thing for him to have done, she said, was to take the child either to her school principal or to her parents and inform them about her behaviour.

She said that the manner in which the child was assaulted was not a form of chastisement, but a clear assault from a man in his 50's upon a minor female only 14 years old.

Christian has in the meantime lodged an appeal against both the conviction and sentence.

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