HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
the Honourable the Chief Justice Mr. Justice B.P. Cullinan on the 1st
day of July, 1988.
Crown : Mr. M.M. Thetsane
Accused : In person
Officer: Not available.
and second accused persons are in fact child offenders aged sixteen
and seventeen years respectively. The third accused
twenty-one years. All three were found guilty of raping a seventeen
year old girl on their own plea of guilty. They agreed
to a statement
of facts which established that they had successively raped the
complainant at 7 p.m. when she had with her a three
year old child.
The finding of the court below is hereby confirmed.
learned trial magistrate imposed the following punishment:
"All accuseds are committed to Juvenile Wing".
punishment is clearly invalid. No period is specified therein.
Secondly, the third accused is twenty-one years of age and cannot
sent to the Juvenile section of any prison.
It is not
clear whether or not the learned trial magistrate intended' to make
an Approved School Order. There is an Approved School
for male child
offenders in Lesotho and that is the Juvenile Training Centre (see
Government. Notice No.53 of 1987). If an Approved
School Order was
intended then the period of detention in such School should have been
pronounced by the Court.
sentence of the court below is a nullity and for the avoidance of
doubt it is hereby set aside.
accused were first offenders who pleaded guilty. The latter aspect
weighs heavily in their favour. They have displayed
rependance in court. Nonetheless they have committed an appalling
offence for three young men, a "gang rape"
on a young girl.
Quite clearly a period of correction is required. It is clear also
that their parents or guardians have been unable
in the past to apply
such correction. Indeed the facts dislose that when the young
complainant came weeping to the home of the
second accused his mother
chased her away. Further, her attitude in the matter reveals that she
considers that, to use her own
words, but "childish naughtiness"
regard to all the circumstances I impose the following punishments.
Second Child Offenders:
An Approved School Order, both offenders to be committed to the
Juvenile Training Centre until they respectively reach the age
eighteen years,such Order to take retrospective effect to 18th March,
1988, the date of punishment in the court below.
Two (2) Years Imprisonment with effect from 18th March, 1988.
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