Windhoek — Johannes Jacobs, 45, who was convicted of killing his estranged wife by stabbing her 12 times with a knife in her upper body and leaving her to die while he walked away, was sentenced to an effective 27 years behind bars.
Handing down sentence yesterday was Judge Dinah Usiku in the Windhoek High Court situated at the Windhoek Correctional Facility premises.
She sentenced him to 30 years of which three years were suspended for five years on condition that he is not convicted of a crime that involves violence during the period of suspension. The judge convicted Jacobs of intentionally killing his wife, Sophia Lucia Jacobs, 41, by stabbing her 12 times with a knife in the chest and back at Blouwes Primary School and Hostel in the Keetmanshoop area, before fleeing the scene. The deceased died the next day in the Keetmanshoop hospital due to her injuries.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge and claimed his wife fell on the knife while they were struggling for it and that caused the fatal stab wounds.
The judge said she closely observed Jacobs throughout the trial and he showed no signs of remorse whatsoever. In fact, the judge said, he still persisted in his innocence "even in the light of so much overwhelming evidence against him".
She added that it has always been said the sooner after the commission of a crime remorse is expressed, the more genuine the expression thereof will fall on the ears of the court. "That was not the case herein," the judge remarked.
She said the court is mindful of the fact that people in any society on a daily basis encounter situations in which they are angered and humiliated, but they still are required or expected to control their emotions without taking the law into their own hands and punishing those who had wronged them.
It came to light during the trial that the accused had experienced marital problems with the deceased. "However, the best he could have done was to let her go, after all she already left their matrimonial home," the judge said, adding it seems the deceased no longer wanted Jacobs as a husband.
According to Judge Usiku, murder is the most serious crime a person can commit. "Nothing can replace one's life," she emphasised and continued: "Every society condemns murder as a very serious crime. In this present case the manner in which the offence was committed must also be taken into account. The deceased having been stabbed 12 times; the accused was in a domestic relationship with the deceased, being his wife, and the mother of his four children who have now been left without their mother."
Judge Usiku said the instrument Jacobs used was a dangerous weapon and it is aggravating that the incident happened on the premises of a school and hostel where the young learners were left traumatised.
The sentence she had to impose on Jacobs, she said, will undoubtedly have a drastic effect on his children who are dependent on him for their livelihood, but that, she added, is unfortunately the consequences of crime.
Jan Wessels appeared for Jacobs on instructions of legal aid and State Advocate Hesekiel Ipinge prosecuted.