20 March 2019

Namibia: Child Killer Sentenced to Life

A Gobabis resident that was convicted of killing his three-month-old son by picking him up and throwing him on the ground causing him to die later that day in hospital from a fractured skull, was sentenced to life imprisonment for murder with direct intent and one year for assaulting the mother of the child. It was however ordered that the sentence on the assault conviction run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Dawid Amseb, 25, pleaded not guilty to the charges at the start of his trial before Windhoek High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo and said in a plea explanation entered on his behalf by his State funded lawyer, Mese Tjituri, that Amseb admitted that he had the boy, Dube Morao, in his arms on March 30, last year and that the boy fell from his arms onto the ground sustaining the injuries that killed him.

However, Amseb said, he did not pick up the infant and throw him on the ground as alleged by the state.

According to him, he had the boy in his arms when an altercation erupted between him and the boy's mother and she grabbed him around the stomach causing him to lose his hold onto the infant and let him fall. He said he immediately took the deceased to the Gobabis hospital.

He further denied he tried to kill his girlfriend saying: "I did not touch her."

According to the indictment, Amseb and Morao lived together in the nature of a marriage and were the biological parents of the deceased. During the early morning hours of March 30, 2017, the mother was breastfeeding the infant when an argument erupted between her and the accused.

The accused grabbed the mother on her throat and strangled her, but she managed to free herself from the grip, it is stated. It further says the accused then picked up the deceased and threw him on the ground, which caused him to die later the same day due to a head injury.

"Murder is a very serious offence and in the present case committed with direct intent against a defenseless boy," Judge Ndauendapo said when he delivered the sentence. He continued: "The accused in this matter smashed the head of the deceased against the floor and thereby causing severe head injury which caused death."

The judge further remarked that the boy must have felt unimaginable pain and at only three months old died at the hands of his own father, a person who was supposed to protect him. That is aggravating, the judge said and added: "Worst of all is that the accused had shown no remorse whatsoever and that is also aggravating."

According to the judge, he considered the personal circumstances of the accused and there is nothing in it to outweigh the seriousness of the offence. "Gender- based violence against children and women continues unabated and the courts must play their role in combating gender- based crimes by imposing lengthy sentences," Judge Ndauendapo concluded.

The State was represented by Advocate Hezekiel Ipinge and Amseb will serve his prison term at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.

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