Sentenced for Manslaughter

The man who killed a pedestrian in a hit-and-run four years ago was last week handed a two-year suspended jail sentence and a N$16 000 fine.

The 27-year-old Riaan de Wet Vermeulen was convicted of bumping and killing 27-year-old Michael Ellinger and riding away from the crime scene more than four years ago in Windhoek, in an accident that made headlines in local papers.

Ellinger was killed on February 7 2010 while walking to the house where he was staying in Moses Tjitendero Street. At the time Ellinger, who was well known in inline hockey circles, was on a visit to Windhoek from Swakopmund.

De Wet Vermeulen was arrested and charged with culpable homicide, alternatively reckless or negligent driving, alternatively inconsiderate driving.

De Wet Vermeulen testified in mitigation before sentence on Wednesday that while driving he heard a knock.

He said he was sorry for his actions and had no more tears to cry. “I feel sorry for the family of the deceased,” he added. “I can only say I am really, really sorry … I was the cause of that man’s death,” he said.

His defence lawyer pleaded that his client not be given direct imprisonment.

However, State prosecutor Hans Thourob informed the court that culpable homicide was one of those crimes regarded as serious. “The sentence should not be too light or severe. The deceased would have been alive if he was assisted immediately,” Thourob said, adding that De Wet Vermeulen let a day and a half go by before reporting the incident. Magistrate Helvi Shilemba imposed the suspended jail sentence and the fine.

Source : New Era