Barman denies killing girlfriend

WINDHOEK: Windhoek resident Jeffrey Barman, who allegedly murdered his girlfriend during their daughter’s birthday party here in mid-November 2012, has denied any involvement in the incident.

The 23-year-old Barman entered a plea of not guilty to a count of murder at the start of his trial which started before High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg here on Monday morning.

He allegedly hit Melanie Booysen, 20, with a piece of a broken glass on the neck during a party held for their four-year-old daughter in the Golgotha residential area in the capital on 10 November 2012.

The glass cut her throat and she died shortly afterwards.

Barman also pleaded not guilty to a first count of attempted murder in that he intentionally assaulted his late girlfriend’s brother, Charlton Swartz, by stabbing him with a piece of broken glass in the face immediately after killing his girlfriend.

He also pleaded not guilty to a count of common assault in connection with pushing Susanna Aletta Booysen into a fence on the same day of the alleged killing incident.

Separately, Barman denied a second count of attempted murder in that he intentionally stabbed his cousin, Albertus Fransiscus Duncan, with a knife with intent to kill on 09 August 2013 in Katutura.

It is reported that Barman attacked Duncan when he was free on bail in the alleged killing of Melanie Booysen.

The bail was subsequently withdrawn.

He, however, pleaded guilty to a count of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and personally admitted in court on Monday that he attacked and assaulted Duncan by hitting him with a motor vehicle part on the head and other parts of the body on 09 August 2013.

Windhoek resident Ivan Hamaseb, the first State witness in the case, told the court on Monday that there was no quarrel, fight or any kind of provocation when Barman hit Melanie Booysen with a broken piece of glass.

Hamaseb further told the court that Barman was in an aggressive mood and was totally drunk before, during and after the alleged killing incident because he found the accused drinking strong liquor with friends.

A summary of substantial facts contained in the charge sheet has it that Barman attempted to flee the scene, but fractured a leg when he jumped off the roof of a neighbour’s house.

He was arrested around 17h00 on the day of the alleged crime, and first appeared on 13 November 2012 in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court along Mungunda Street in Katutura on a charge of murder.

He remains in police custody at the Windhoek Correctional Facility.

Windhoek-based defence lawyer Winston Visser is appearing for the accused on the instructions of the Justice Ministry’s Directorate of Legal Aid.

State Advocate Simba Nduna is appearing for the prosecution.

The trial continues on Tuesday.