8 March 2018

Namibia: Wife Killer Jailed for 27 Years

A //Karas region resident who killed his wife in a knife attack at a school in the Keetmanshoop district nearly four years ago received a prison term of 27 years at the end of his trial in the Windhoek High Court yesterday.

It was aggravating that the murder of which Johannes Jacobs (45) was convicted was committed on the premises of a school and hostel where young pupils were left traumatised, judge Dinnah Usiku remarked during Jacobs' sentencing.

She also noted that during his trial, Jacobs expressed no remorse for the killing of his wife, Sophia Jacobs (41), and that after he had been found guilty, he appeared to persist, despite overwhelming evidence against him, in claiming he was innocent.

Judge Usiku added that she was mindful of the fact that people in any society on a daily basis encounter situations in which they are angered or humiliated - but they are still expected to have control over their emotions without taking the law into their own hands and punishing those who wronged them.

Judge Usiku sentenced Jacobs to 30 years' imprisonment, of which three years were suspended for a period of five years on condition that Jacobs is not convicted of murder, culpable homicide or any offence of which violence against another person is an element, committed during the period of suspension.

Jacobs was convicted of murder almost three weeks ago, after judge Usiku rejected his claims that his wife died of self-inflicted stab injuries that she sustained during a fight with him.

Although there were no eyewitnesses to the deadly fight in which Jacobs, then employed as a school security officer, and his wife were involved on 18 June 2014, she was satisfied that it had been proven beyond reasonable doubt that Jacobs inflicted the injuries that claimed his wife's life, judge Usiku said when she delivered her verdict.

She noted that there was evidence Jacobs had previously threatened to kill his wife, while he admitted during his trial that he stabbed her five times in the back after she had turned to walk away from him following a fight between the two of them.

Jacobs was employed as a security guard at Blouwes Primary School in the Keetmanshoop district when the fatal stabbing took place at the school's premises.

Sophia Jacobs was stabbed 12 times with a knife. She died the next day in a hospital at Keetmanshoop.

Following a history of conflict in the couple's marriage, Sophia Jacobs had moved out of the house that she and her husband shared before the incident took place, the court heard during the trial. Four children had been born from their relationship.

Judge Usiku remarked during the sentencing yesterday that in the situation where his wife had already left him, the best Jacobs could have done was to let her go.

Jacobs had been free on bail of N$2 000 until his bail was cancelled when he was found guilty.

Jacobs was represented by defence counsel Jan Wessels, on instructions from the Directorate of Legal Aid. State advocate Hesekiel Iipinge prosecuted.

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