A YOUNG woman who was brutally stabbed to death twenty-seven times in full view of her four-year-old son was vulnerable and defenseless, a high court judge this morning ruled in the sentencing of the perpetrator.
Judge Nate Ndauendapo maintained that Tiffany Lewin,22, was “butchered” in the cruelest manner as the knife was found stuck in her head.
The heinous crime by Lewin’s boyfriend at the time, Ryno Diergaardt ,36, particularly shocked the nation in 2014 as it happened on the eve of the National prayer day against violent crimes against women, as declared by then President Hifikepunye Pohamba.
Diergaardt was today sentenced to 35 years in prison for murder with director intent, of which five years were suspended for a period of five years on condition that he is not convicted of the same or similar offense. Diergaardt will be 66-years-old when he leaves prison should he serve his full term.
Factors in consideration for sentencing ranged from the fact that the perpetrator had spent 5 years in jail awaiting trial, he had apologised to the deceased’s family, he had shown remorse for his actions and while in prisonl, Diergaardt acquired a diploma in biblical studies.
He, however, had a previous conviction of theft of money.
“The deceased’s 4-year-old witnessed the brutal killing of his mother and tried to defend her by stopping the accused from stabbing her further, but to no avail. He continued to stab her and the pain she endured was profound. She was just 22-years-old, barely started her adult life and her two children will now grow up without a mother,” Judge Ndauendapo said.
The judge maintained that the momentum of violence in society continues unabated and that it was up to the courts to execute deterrence for would be offenders, noting that those who find themselves guilty of murder cannot escape lengthy sentences.
Emotional scenes in the court’s corridors were observed shortly after the sentencing, as family of the deceased and the now convicted murderer cried together.