Mariental strangler sent to jail for 51 years

30 Apr 2019 14:00pm
WINDHOEK, 30 APR (NAMPA) – A Mariental resident who admitted in the High Court to killing a 16-year-old girl by strangling her to death and violently attacking two other women at the southern town, was on Tuesday sent to jail for 51 years.
Hendrik Atab Swartz, 32, was sentenced to 26 years imprisonment on a charge of murder with direct intent to kill in respect of the death of Estonovia Games, 16, whom he admitted to strangling to death with his bare hands near a cemetery at Mariental on 20 October 2016.
He got 10 years on each of the two counts of attempted murder after he violently assaulted a 19-year-old woman on 01 May 2013 in his shack and a 12-year-old girl he met on the streets on 25 May 2016, with the intention to kill them.
However, the 10-year-sentence imposed in respect of the attack on the 12-year-old girl was ordered to run concurrently with the punishment handed down in connection with the assault on the 19-year-old.
On the charge of raping the 12-year-old girl, Swartz was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment.
On the charge of crimen injuria after he completely undressed the 19-year-old woman in his shack and exposed her genitals, violating her dignity, Swartz was only cautioned and discharged.
He was also cautioned and discharged on a charge of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm for attacking Stephanus Thomas - a friend of the 19-year-old woman - with a knife when he found him in the company of the woman in the Ombili informal area on 01 May 2013.
In the result, Swartz was, therefore, sentenced to an effective total of 51 years imprisonment.
Judge Dinnah Usiku handed down the sentences in the High Court located at the Windhoek Central Correctional Facility Tuesday morning.
Meanwhile, Swartz was acquitted on the charges of having raped the deceased and the 19-year-old after the prosecution could not prove beyond reasonable doubt that these rapes indeed took place.
Evidence presented during trial has it that Swartz chased the 19-year-old complainant with a knife and eventually took her to his shack and stabbed her in the face in addition to strangling her and stuffing a piece of material into her mouth.
With regard to the 12-year-old victim, the girl was walking home alone in Ombili in Mariental when Swartz attacked her, raped her and tied her hair band around her neck in attempts to strangle her to death.
However, someone intervened, rescued the girl and Swartz fled from the scene.
The 19-year-old victim suffered a deep cut wound in her face and told the court she now suffers from severe headaches which started about three months after her ordeal.
Legal Aid-funded defence lawyer Gert Appolus defended Swartz.
State Advocate Martino Olivier represented the prosecution.