Fines for kidnapping, assault

The four were found guilty of kidnapping and assaulting three children in 2014.

13 June 2019 | Justice

Four Walvis Bay residents, who kidnapped three boys nearly five years ago, held them against the will for several hours and assaulted them, have been fined N$13 000 each by the Swakopmund Regional Court.

Tears of joy flowed outside the court on Monday after Logan Pretorius (30), his fiancée Sandra Riobo (22), Ashley Andre January (25) and Curven Nathan Vries (26) escaped direct imprisonment.

Their punishment was significantly milder than the five years direct imprisonment the prosecution had wanted.

They were arrested in August 2014. On Monday they were fined N$8 000 each for kidnapping and N$5 000 or three years imprisonment each for assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm.

The three years imprisonment, with an additional two years, were suspended for five years on the condition they are not convicted of assault with the intent to do grievous bodily harm during this period.

The four kidnapped and assaulted Carlos Mukuve, Levi Goreseb and Edward Goreseb, who were minors at the time, after they allegedly killed one of Pretorius' dogs and allegedly tried to steal another one.

The victims were beaten and kicked and bite marks were found on the upper thighs of two of the children. They were also forced to drink salt water and Tabasco sauce, which they vomited out.

Magistrate Gaynor Poulton explained the court takes a number of factors into consideration during sentencing.

“At the time, the complainants were vulnerable schoolgoing children who were taken against their will and kept for a considerable amount of hours, although it was not established for how long. The injuries sustained by the boys, along with their medical treatment are also taken into consideration,” she said.

Poulton explained that the motive behind the kidnappings was also taken into account.

“Pretorius believed the boys had killed one of his dogs, were in possession of a rope and attempted to steal another dog. However, a dog's life can't be seen as more important than that of a child. The court does take note of the fact that Pretorius is a dog lover and testified that he treats them like children, but he had no right to go to this extent.”

Poulton also said the punishment cannot “just be a slap on the wrist”.

“The actions by the accused were unacceptable in the way they treated these children. You cannot take the law into your own hands, however, there is no reason for the accused to be removed permanently from society.”

Poulton said she hopes this was a lesson for the four accused and that the court is willing to give them a second chance.

Teresia Hafeni was the prosecutor, while Boris Isaacs defended the accused.

Erwin Leuschner and Leandrea Louw

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