Jailed farmworker wants sentence reduced

20 Jul 2018 15:50pm
WINDHOEK, 20 JUL (NAMPA) – A farmworker imprisoned for 42 years for the rape and murder of an elderly woman in the Ovitoto area east of Okahandja in September 2009, is now fighting for the reduction of his custodial term.
Paulus Titus was on 26 May 2016 sent to prison for an effective 42 years by High Court Judge Nate Ndauendapo for the rape and murder of his employer, Erica Tjiho, 75, who was found dead inside her corrugated iron house on 01 September 2009.
The 38-year-old Titus made another appearance before the same judge during a pre-trial of case management review on Friday, when his case was postponed till 27 July 2018 to allow the Ministry of Justice’s Directorate of Legal Aid to instruct and appoint a State-funded lawyer to defend him during his intended appeal hearing.
The court has also issued an order directing the prosecuting authority to forward the whole transcript of the High Court records in respect of Titus’ trial to the Directorate of Legal Aid with no further delay.
State Advocate Carol-Ann Esterhuizen represented the prosecution, while Titus appeared in person on Friday.
On the count of murder, Titus was sentenced to 30 years imprisonment and 12 years on the count of rape.
On the third count of theft in respect of clothing and an unspecified amount of money he took from the house of the deceased shortly after the incident, Titus was sentenced to one-year imprisonment.
The latter sentence was ordered to be served concurrently with the sentence imposed in the count of murder.
Titus claimed that he had only slapped Tjiho a number of times in the face out of anger because she failed to pay him wages he was promised and because she tried to prevent him from leaving the place where he had been working for her in the Ovitoto area.
Titus had also disputed the correctness of the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) results, which found a match of his DNA profile in samples collected from Tjiho’s private parts.
Tjiho died as a result of strangulation.
Hipura Ujaha defended Titus during trial.