Judge convicts sexual predator
May 6, 2015, 8:30am
Judge convicts sexual predator
A MAN prosecuted in connection with a series of sexual attacks on women in the vicinity of Windhoek's state hospitals about six years ago was found guilty on five counts of rape, a charge of aggravated assault, and a charge of robbery yesterday.
More than six years after his arrest near the scene of an attack on a young nurse on 7 April 2009, the trial of former shoe store employee Engelbert Oxurub (48) has reached a key stage with the delivery of Acting Judge Collins Parker's verdict in the Windhoek High Court.
Oxurub was accused of having been a sexual predator who made the area between Windhoek Central Hospital and Katutura State Hospital his hunting ground over a 10-month period between June 2008 and April 2009.
During that period, three teenage girls and two adult women were attacked in the area. Four of them were strangled or throttled when they were attacked, while the three girls and one of the women were raped during the attacks, the prosecution charged during Oxurub's trial.
Oxurub, who was prosecuted on five counts of rape, four counts of attempted murder, a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and a charge of robbery, denied guilt on all charges.
Before the last attack on 7 April 2009, similar attacks had taken place on 30 June 2008, when a 13-year-old girl reported that she had been raped near Windhoek Central Hospital; 3 March 2009, when a 16-year-old girl reported she had been raped near the psychiatric hospital; 30 March 2009, when another 16-year-old girl said she had been raped near Windhoek Central Hospital; and 1 April 2009, when an adult woman reported she had been raped near Katutura State Hospital.
Acting Judge Parker convicted Oxurub on seven of the 11 charges after he rejected his defence that he was not at the scenes of the attacks.
The judge found that the five complainants - all of whom told the court that they recognised Oxurub and that he was the man who had attacked them - were credible and reliable witnesses. The one witness, who was the last of the complainants to be attacked, identified Oxurub close to the scene of the attack about half an hour after the incident, Acting Judge Parker recounted. That identification was done after a police officer, acting on a description of the clothing the assailant had been wearing, stopped Oxurub at an exit from the hospital grounds.
Three of the other complainants - including two 16-year-old girls - identified Oxurub as the man who had attacked them when he took part in a police identification parade after his arrest.
Another of the complainants, who was 13 years old at the time of the incident, positively identified Oxurub in the dock in court. She was due to also take part in an identification parade organised by the police when Oxurub refused to participate.
Oxurub claimed during the trial that he could see through the glass partition which was supposed to shield witnesses attending an identification parade from the view of suspects taking part in such a procedure. Having inspected the police's ID parade facility during the trial, Acting Judge Parker rejected Oxurub's claim in that regard as “a moronic mendacity set up to mislead the court”.
He also rejected the evidence delivered by a cousin of Oxurub, who told the court that Oxurub was in his company on two of the days on which women were attacked and raped on the hospital grounds. Oxurub's cousin also acknowledged during his testimony that he would do anything to prevent his relative from going to prison, the judge noted.
He further noted that a similar “diabolical and criminal modus operandi” was used with clockwork precision when four of the attacks were carried out: “He meets his victim; he greets the victim; he grabs the victim by the throat until the victim loses consciousness; when the victim regains consciousness she sees that the accused had left the scene of crime; the victim realises that she had been raped.”
Acting Judge Parker added: “These odd coincidences are too weighty to be ignored.”
Oxurub is scheduled to return to court on 22 June for the hearing of further arguments and possibly further evidence before his sentencing.