WINDHOEK, 23 MAY (NAMPA) - Keetmanshoop resident Pieter Farmer has been sent to jail for an effective 35 years after being found guilty last month of killing his young ex-girlfriend at that southern town in November 2005.
The 36-year-old former manager at the Rosh Pinah zinc mine was found guilty on 10 April this year on three counts - murder with a direct intent to kill, possession of a firearm without a licence and illegal possession of ammunition.
Farmer's convictions emanated from the killing of 18-year-old Dolleveria McKay in the early hours of 12 November 2005 in Keetmanshoop's Kronlein residential area, when he shot the young woman, who is also the mother of his child, in the heart with a 7.65 millimetre calibre pistol.
On the first count of murder with a direct intent to kill, Farmer was sentenced to 35 years imprisonment.
The last two counts of possession of a firearm without a licence and illegal possession of ammunition were taken together for the purpose of sentencing, and on these two counts, Farmer was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.
High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo then ordered that the sentence imposed on the last two counts must run concurrently with the 35 years? punishment for the murder count.
?The crime you committed was premeditated because you went to the club with an intention to shoot and kill the deceased person. And I fully agree with the mother and other family members of the deceased that you did a great injustice to the deceased person, who was only 18-years-old at the time of her death.
Society asks for the courts to impose severe punishment against men who commit these types of heinous criminal offences. Crimes committed against women and girls cannot be tolerated by this court. In my view, a long direct prison term would be an appropriate punishment in this case,? said Ndauendapo as he handed down the sentence.
Farmer had pleaded not guilty to counts of murder, possession of a firearm without a licence and possession of ammunition at the start of his trial in July 2011.
In a written explanation on his ?not-guilty plea?, he claimed that a shot went off accidentally and inexplicably when he handed the pistol to McKay for safekeeping.
He further claimed that he did not know that the gun was loaded when he handed it to her.
During the trial, two State witnesses told the court that they were with the deceased person at a popular drinking hole at that town on the day of her death.
They testified that when they decided to go home, Farmer came running after them, and demanded to speak to his ex-girlfriend alone.
They then moved about 10 metres away from the couple.
According to the witnesses, the duo spoke normally for a couple of minutes, and then started to quarrel.
After a few more minutes of quarrelling, a shot rang out, and they saw McKay falling to the ground.
The witnesses further testified that when they tried to approach McKay and Farmer, he told them in a threatening manner to stay away.
State Advocate Ingrid Husselman appeared for the prosecution, while State-sponsored defence lawyer Hennie Kruger represented Farmer on the instructions of the Justice Ministry's Directorate of Legal Aid.
Shortly after the sentencing on Thursday, Kruger said he will lodge an appeal against the punishment handed down by the court in the next few weeks.