Aranos farmer gets 18 years in jail for murdering wife

25 Jul 2018 13:00pm

An Aranos farmer convicted for shooting his wife to death under the influence of alcohol has been slapped with an 18-year jail term with eight years suspended for five years on condition that he is not convicted of the same offence.    

 Willem Visagie Barnard (68) was declared unfit to be in possession of a firearm for the next three years after the state argued that he was an abuser of alcohol. 

The court arrived at the sentence having been guided by the fact that the accused had lived a good part of his life free from any offence, was advanced in age and was ill.

The state bore against Barnard during his trial stamping that he did not show remorse for the gruesome murder of his wife, Anette Barnard (55) and only apologised for consuming alcohol. 

However, his council submitted that he had been a victim of abuse from his deceased wife and had always been know to be a peace maker and a clean sheet of a good 53 years old without any conviction.

A clinical psychologist, Edwina Mensah-Husselmann, had argued before High Court Judge Naomi Shivute that Barnard should not spend any more time in jail where he had been incarcerated. 

 Barnard was said to have a mental problem and used drugs, and his defence, in pleading for leniency, wanted him to be punished with community service which the court found as improper given the seriousness of the offence.  

Before sending him to jail the Judge said although he is of ill health there are facilities in prison that will cater for him.  

It is the state’s case that Barnard fatally shot his wife with a single bullet to the head on April 9, 2010 and he claimed that he blacked out after a drinking binge which was toped by some prescription drugs, only to find his wife slumped with her head on a coffee table with a bullet wound through her skull.

He would be freed on a N$20 000 bail amount from May 2010.

Meanwhile. The court established that Barnard schooled at Mariental and had a police training which saw him working in South Africa before relocating to Namibia where he took up farming.