23 January 2018

Namibia: Farmer Convicted of Murdering Wife

AN ARANOS area farmer who has been standing trial in the Windhoek High Court over the gunshot death of his wife almost eight years ago is guilty of murder.

This was the verdict judge Naomi Shivute delivered in the trial of farmer Willem Visagie Barnard (64) this morning.

Judge Shivute found that Barnard was the person who fired the shot that struck his wife, Anette Barnard (55), in the head, killing her, at their farm between Stampriet and Aranos during the night of 9 to 10 April 2010.

The judge rejected Barnard's defence that he could not be held accountable for his alleged actions, due to the excessive drinking of alcohol and use of prescribed medication during the day preceding the shooting. Although Barnard had been intoxicated, he was still in control of his mental faculties, she found.

Judge Shivute convicted Barnard on a charge of murder, read with the provisions of the Combating of Domestic Violence Act, committed with a direct intention to kill.

Barnard's bail was cancelled after the delivery of the verdict, and he was ordered to be kept in custody until his return to the High Court for a pre-sentence hearing on 6 February. He was free on N$20 000 bail since May 2010.

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