No Bail for Alleged Girlfriend Killer

A MAN accused of murdering his girlfriend in a stabbing incident in Windhoek on the eve of the national day of prayer against gender-based violence in Namibia is remaining in police custody after his request to be granted bail was turned down on Friday.

It would not be in the interest of the public or of the administration of justice to release Johny Ryno Diergaardt (30) on bail at this time, Magistrate Surita Savage said when she delivered her ruling on a bail application by Diergaardt in the Windhoek Magistrate’s Court in Katutura. Magistrate Savage said it would appear from Diergaardt’s own testimony during his bail hearing that the prosecution has a g case against him. Diergaardt has been in police custody for two months on a charge of murder.

He was arrested on 4 March, a few hours after the death of his girlfriend, Tiffany Lewin (22), who was killed when she was stabbed repeatedly with one or more knives.

Lewin was killed on the evening of 3 March at the flat where Diergaardt lived in Windhoek’s Khomasdal area.

Diergaardt and Lewin are the parents of a two-year-old daughter, while she also had a son from a previous relationship.

During his bail hearing Diergaardt, who is employed at a medical aid fund in Windhoek, told the court that he had a blackout on the evening of the incident and could not remember stabbing Lewin. He also said the stabbing was a mistake that happened in a moment of weakness, Magistrate Savage noted in her ruling.

The police officer in charge of the investigation of Diergaardt’s case, Detective Sergeant Billy Kamusuvise, told the court that 27 stab injuries were observed on Lewin’s body after her death.

Kamusuvise further told the court that when he visited Diergaardt in hospital three days after his arrest, Diergaardt told him that he became angry when Lewin arrived at his flat in the company of a former boyfriend of hers.

“He said she deserved to die because she provoked him by bringing her ex-boyfriend at his flat,” Kamusuvise testified.

Diergaardt also told him that he had tried to take his own life by cutting his wrist after the incident, but he did not manage to carry that plan through.

Following the bail ruling, Diergaardt’s case has been postponed to 20 June for further investigations to be done by the police.

Defence lawyer Hennie Barnard, who is representing Diergaardt, told the magistrate after the delivery of her ruling that a psychologist is visiting Diergaardt in custody. A report from the psychologist would be provided to the prosecution and the court once it is available, Barnard said.

Source : The Namibian