HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
Matter of :
TSENOLI REASONS FOR JUDGMENT
the Hon. Mr. Justice B.K. Molai on the 25th day of May, 1987.
May, 1987 I disposed of this case and the fol-lowing are the reasons
for my decision.
accused was convicted by a magistrate in Mohale's Hoek on seven (7)
counts of Housebreaking with intent to steal and theft.
allegations contained in the body of the charge sheet were that on
several dates ranging from 30th January, 1987 to 8th March,
at a number of places within the district of Mohale's Hoek, the
accused broke into the houses of the complainants with
steel and unlawfully stole a variety of articles, therein mentioned,
the property or in the lawful possession of the
accused had pleaded guilty to the charges and the provisions of S.
240(1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act 1981
facts, and these were admitted as correct by the accused, were that
had the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges, the prosecution
would have adduced evidence to show that on the dates mentioned in
the various counts the complainants were away from their respective
houses. Before leaving their houses they had properly closed the
doors and secured the windows thereof. On their return, they,
however, found that either the doors or the windows of the houses had
been tempered with. On entering into the houses they found
articles mentioned in the charge sheet were missing.
the accused nor any other person had the complainants'
permission to break into the houses and remove the articles.
Consequently the complainants reported the losses to their respective
local chiefs who immediately mounted a search for the missing
articles. As a result of information received during the course of
the search the accused was approached and interrogated. He eventually
led the searchers to a place where he produced a large number of
articles which were positively identified by the complainants
of the property found missing after their houses had been broken
accused, together with the property, was brought to Phamong police
post where he was cautioned and charged as aforesaid.
evidence, there was no doubt in my mind that the complainants' houses
were broken into and their property removed therefrom
by the accused.
He did so unlawfully because it was without the permission of the
complainants. Regard being had to the fact that
it was not until a
search was mounted for the missing property and that some of it was
never recovered I was conviced that when
he broke into and unlawfully
removed the property from the complainants' houses, the accused did
so with the requisit intention
satisfied, therefore, that it had been established beyond a
reasonable doubt that the accused did commit the offences against
which he stood charged. That being so,I had no alternative but to
come to the conclusion that his convictions were perfectly in
now to the question of sentence, the crown counsel informed the court
that the accused had previous convictions and produced
thereof which was admitted by the accused. According to the record of
previous convictions, the accused was on 4th
convicted by the Mohale's Hoek Magistrate Court on five (5) counts of
Housebreaking with intent to steal and theft.
He was sentenced to six
(6) months imprisonment on each of the five counts.
mitigation of sentence, the accused addressed the court and asked for
leniency. He invited the court to take into consideration
that he did
not attend school, his father passed away in 1982 and only his mother
was bringing him up. He was also severely assaulted
complainants before being brought to the police station.
benefit of the accused I was prepared to take into account all the
points he had raised in mitigation. In addition
I took into
consideration that he had pleaded guilty to the charges. Hopefully
that was a sign of remorse.
accused was only 20 years old. On account of his tender age, he did
not only lacked a maturity of action but in my view, also
chance of being rehabilitated.
I was not prepared to turn a blind eye to the fact that the accused
had been convicted of serious offences calling for
serious punishment. He had previously been sentenced to 6 months
imprisonment on five counts of Housebreaking
with intent to steal and
theft. It would appear the sentence was not deterent enough for
shortly thereafter the accused had repeated
the same offence. If the
objective were to rehabilitate him it seemed to me there was a need
to place the accused in the hands
of the prison authorities for a
period that was long enough to enable them to do their work properly.
circumstances, I come to the conclusion that the following sentences
were appropriate for the accused and accordingly sentenced
Count I :
9 months imprisonment
: 6 " "
: 6 "
: 6 " "
Count V :
6 " "
: 6 " "
: 9 " "
offences in counts 2 and 3 were committed on the same day viz 30
January, 1987, it was ordered that the sentences in those
should run concurrently. The offences in counts
4 and 5
were also committed on more or less the same day viz. 4th and 5th
March, 1987 It was likewise ordered that the sentences
in counts 4
and 5 should run concurrently. The sentences in counts 1, 6 and 7
were, however, to run consecutively.
accused would, therefore, serve an effective period of 36 months
imprisonment subject, of course to the provisions of Rule 34
Prison Rules published under the Government Notice No. 27 of 1957.
: Mr, Mokhobo
Defendent : In Person.
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