Severe penalty for Swakop child killer

Severe penalty for Swakop child killer

CHILD rapist and murderer Willem Louw sat sobbing in the dock in the High Court in Windhoek on Friday after hearing that he had been sentenced to an effective 68 years’ imprisonment.

Having committed, admitted and been convicted of a massive crime, the 32-year-old Louw on Friday received a massive jail term to match his misdeeds. Judge Sylvester Mainga sentenced him to 45 years’ imprisonment for the murder of Rachel Hamatundu.The six-year-old girl who Louw raped and killed at Swakopmund on the evening of January 31 last year, to 25 years’ imprisonment for raping Hamatundu, to 10 years for abducting Hamatundu before he raped and murdered her, and to a three-year term for indecently assaulting a three-year-old girl at Swakopmund on the morning after Hamatundu’s death.Five years of the 25-year prison term for rape were ordered to run concurrently with the sentence on the murder charge, while the term on the abduction charge was ordered to run together with the sentence on the rape charge.This means that although Louw was sentenced to a total of 83 years’ imprisonment, the sentence effectively amounts to 68 years behind bars.For the first time since the start of the trial, Louw’s parents were present together in court to hear what their only son’s punishment would be.Louw wiped tears from his eyes as he stood in the dock listening to Judge Mainga read out the court’s sentencing judgement.Once the sentence had been pronounced, Louw was finally overcome by his emotions.He sat down in the dock, dropped his head into his hands, and cried, his body racked by sobs.By then, Louw had heard Judge Mainga remind him of the horror of the deeds that he was responsible for on the evening of January 31 last year.From the evidence that Dr Kennedy Chifwembe, the doctor who examined Hamatundu after her death, gave to the court, it was clear that she had died “a brutal, cruel and inhumane death”, Judge Mainga said.She was first raped – so violently that her private parts were torn, the court heard – and was then killed when Louw took her by her legs and swung her, repeatedly, so that her head smashed into a concrete pillar at the Swakopmund sewerage plant, where he committed the crimes.Her head was like a pulp, Dr Chifwembe told the court.”The death of (Rachel Hamatundu) did not only shock her parents, but the community of Swakopmund and the people of Namibia,” Judge Mainga told Louw.He added that there is nothing more true than what Louw’s defence counsel, Louis Karsten, had himself acknowledged: that the murder had been committed “in a brutal, monstrous and cold-blooded manner”.The Judge also reminded Louw of what could be seen on photographs that were taken at the scene where Hamatundu’s broken and violated body was found on the morning after her death.He referred to a concrete pillar stained with blood, a pool of blood on the ground, the little girl’s sprawled, naked body lying on its back, with sand having been thrown over her private parts, abdomen, chest and head, and noted that her head was “hardly recognisable as that of a human being”.The photos of the scene “tell of the conduct of a sadist whose senses of humanity escaped him”, Judge Mainga said.He added: “The photographs are heart-rending.Our society cries for effective sanctions and protection against the offenders of such crimes.”Through the sentences, Judge Mainga said, he was also trying to send a message that should deter other, would-be offenders who might be tempted to commit this sort of crime.Deputy Prosecutor General Antonia Verhoef represented the State throughout Louw’s trial.Judge Sylvester Mainga sentenced him to 45 years’ imprisonment for the murder of Rachel Hamatundu. The six-year-old girl who Louw raped and killed at Swakopmund on the evening of January 31 last year, to 25 years’ imprisonment for raping Hamatundu, to 10 years for abducting Hamatundu before he raped and murdered her, and to a three-year term for indecently assaulting a three-year-old girl at Swakopmund on the morning after Hamatundu’s death.Five years of the 25-year prison term for rape were ordered to run concurrently with the sentence on the murder charge, while the term on the abduction charge was ordered to run together with the sentence on the rape charge.This means that although Louw was sentenced to a total of 83 years’ imprisonment, the sentence effectively amounts to 68 years behind bars.For the first time since the start of the trial, Louw’s parents were present together in court to hear what their only son’s punishment would be.Louw wiped tears from his eyes as he stood in the dock listening to Judge Mainga read out the court’s sentencing judgement.Once the sentence had been pronounced, Louw was finally overcome by his emotions.He sat down in the dock, dropped his head into his hands, and cried, his body racked by sobs.By then, Louw had heard Judge Mainga remind him of the horror of the deeds that he was responsible for on the evening of January 31 last year.From the evidence that Dr Kennedy Chifwembe, the doctor who examined Hamatundu after her death, gave to the court, it was clear that she had died “a brutal, cruel and inhumane death”, Judge Mainga said.She was first raped – so violently that her private parts were torn, the court heard – and was then killed when Louw took her by her legs and swung her, repeatedly, so that her head smashed into a concrete pillar at the Swakopmund sewerage plant, where he committed the crimes.Her head was like a pulp, Dr Chifwembe told the court.”The death of (Rachel Hamatundu) did not only shock her parents, but the community of Swakopmund and the people of Namibia,” Judge Mainga told Louw.He added that there is nothing more true than what Louw’s defence counsel, Louis Karsten, had himself acknowledged: that the murder had been committed “in a brutal, monstrous and cold-blooded manner”.The Judge also reminded Louw of what could be seen on photographs that were taken at the scene where Hamatundu’s broken and violated body was found on the morning after her death.He referred to a concrete pillar stained with blood, a pool of blood on the ground, the little girl’s sprawled, naked body lying on its back, with sand having been thrown over her private parts, abdomen, chest and head, and noted that her head was “hardly recognisable as that of a human being”.The photos of the scene “tell of the conduct of a sadist whose senses of humanity escaped him”, Judge Mainga said.He added: “The photographs are heart-rending.Our society cries for effective sanctions and protection against the offenders of such crimes.”Through the sentences, Judge Mainga said, he was also trying to send a message that should deter other, would-be offenders who might be tempted to commit this sort of crime.Deputy Prosecutor General Antonia Verhoef represented the State throughout Louw’s trial.

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