A WINDHOEK man who stabbed his former girlfriend 27 times with knives at his rented room in the city in March 2014 clearly meant to cause her death, a High Court judge concluded when he convicted the man of murder on Friday.
"By stabbing the deceased twenty-seven times with several knives all over her body, including the knife that got stuck in the head, [Johny Ryno Diergaardt's] main aim was clearly to cause the death of the deceased, and therefore he acted with direct intent," judge Nate Ndauendapo stated in the judgement in which he found Diergaardt guilty on a charge of murder, committed with a direct intention to kill.
Judge Ndauendapo also found that when Diergaardt (36) killed his ex-girlfriend Tiffany Lewin (22) on 3 March 2014 by stabbing her 27 times, he was not suffering from a mental illness or defect, and was able to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct. This was the finding of three psychiatrists who examined Diergaardt before his trial.
Lewin's "life was tragically cut short in the most brutal and vicious manner imaginable", judge Ndauendapo commented early in his judgement.
Diergaardt denied guilt at the start of his trial in November last year, and claimed he had no recollection of the incident during which Lewin was killed.
Lewin and Diergaardt had been involved in a relationship for about three years, and were the parents of a daughter. The relationship had been troubled, though, and was marred by fights and a number of incidents in which Diergaardt assaulted Lewin, while she on one occasion also stabbed him with a knife, judge Ndauendapo recounted in his judgement.
Some of the fights between Diergaardt and Lewin resulted from his claims that she was abusing alcohol and neglecting their daughter as a result.
The judge also noted that a neighbour of Diergaardt testified during his trial that he heard Lewin screaming and her son - a child born from a previous relationship - shouting "don't stab my mother" during the evening of 3 March 2014. The neighbour said when he ran out of his room, he found Lewin's son standing outside Diergaardt's room with a knife in his hand.
Lewin lay on the ground in front of the room, while Diergaardt, who was standing over her, stabbed her in the head, the neighbour testified.
The neighbour added that he could hear Diergaardt mumbling "this was for all the embarrassment and pain".
Diergaardt left the scene of the stabbing with a knife, but returned the same night, and was then arrested.
He has been kept in custody since his arrest.
Having been convicted, Diergaardt was told he should return to court for a presentence hearing on 8 October.
State advocate Seredine Jacobs is prosecuting. Diergaardt is being represented by defence lawyer Boris Isaacks.