CRI/S/13/87 IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the Matter of :
REJELENG TSENOLI REASONS FOR JUDGMENT
Filed by the Hon. Mr. Justice B.K. Molai on the 25th
day of May, 1987.
On 21at May, 1987 I disposed of this case and the fol-
are the reasons for my decision.
The accused was convicted by a magistrate in Mohale's
Hoek on seven (7) counts of Housebreaking with intent to steal and
allegations contained in the body' of the charge sheet
were that on several dates ranging from 30th January, 1987 to 8th
and at a number of places within the district of Mohale's
Hoek, the accused broke into the houses of the complainants with
to steal and unlawfully stole a variety of articles, therein
mentioned, the property or in the lawful possession of the
The accused had pleaded guilty to the charges and the
provisions of S. 240(1)(b) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act
The facts, and these were admitted as correct by the
accused, were that had the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges,
would have adduced evidence to show that on the dates
mentioned in the various counts the complainants were away from their
houses. Before leaving their houses they had properly
closed the doors and secured the windows thereof. On their return,
however, found that either the doors or the windows of the
houses had been tempered with. On entering into the houses they
that the articles mentioned in the charge sheet were missing.
Neither the accused nor any other person had the
complainants' permission to break into the houses and remove the
Consequently the complainants reported the losses to their
respective local chiefs who immediately mounted a search for the
articles. As a result of Information received during the
course of the search the accused was approached and interrogated. He
led the searchers to a place where he produced a large
number of articles which were positively identified by the
part of the property found missing after their houses
had been broken into.
The accused, together with the property, was brought to
Phamong police post where he was cautioned and charged as aforesaid.
On the evidence, there was no doubt in my mind that the
complainants' houses were broken into and their property removed
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
into and unlawfully removed the property from the complainants'
houses, the accused did so with the requisit intention to steal.
I was satisfied, therefore, that it had been established
beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused' did commit the offences
which he stood charged. That being so,I had no alternative
but to come to the conclusion that his convictions were perfectly in
Coming now to the question of sentence, the crown
counsel informed the court that the accused had previous convictions
a record thereof which was admitted by the accused.
According to the record of previous convictions, the accused was
on 4th January, 1985 convicted by the Mohale's Hoek Magistrate
Court on five (5) counts of Housebreaking with intent to steal and
He was sentenced to six (6) months imprisonment on each of
the five counts.
3/ In mitigation. .
In mitigation of sentence, the accused addressed the
court and asked for leniency. He invited the court to take into
that he did not attend school, his father passed away
in 1982 and only his mother was bringing him up. He was also
by the complainants before being brought to the
For the benefit of the accused I was prepared to take
into account all the points he had raised in mitiga-tion. In
addition I took
into consideration that he had pleaded guilty to the
charges. Hopefully that was a sign of remorse.
The accused was only 20 years old. On account of his
tender age, he did not only lacked a maturity of action but in my
stood a chance of being rehabilitsted.
However, I was not prepared to turn a blind eye to the
fact that the accused had been convicted of serious offences calling
commensurately serious punishment. He had previously been
sentenced to 6 months imprisonment on five counts of Housebreaking
intent to steal and theft. It would appear the sentence was not
deterent enough for shortly thereafter the accused had repeated
same offence. If the objective were to rehabilitate him it seemed
to me there was a need to place the accused in the hands
prison authorities for a period that was long enough to enable them
to do their work properly.,
In the circumstances, I come to the conclusion
that the following sentences were appropriate for the accused and
accordingly sentenced him :
Count I :9 months imprisonment
Count II : 6 " "
Count III : 6 " "
Count IV : 6 " "
Count V : 6 " "
Count VI : 6 " "
Count VII : 9 " "
As the offences in counts 2 and 3 were committed on the
same day viz 30 January, 1987, it was ordered that the sentences in
counts should run concurrently. The offences in counts
and 5 were also committed on more or less the same day
viz. 4th and 5th March, 1987. It was likewise ordered that the
counts 4 and 5 should run concurrently. The sentences in
counts 1, 6 and 7 were, however, to run consecutively .
The accused would, therefore, serve an effective period
of 36 months imprisonment subject, of course to the provisions of
of the Prison Rules published under the Government Notice No.
27 of 1957.
B.K. MOLAI JUDGE
25th May, 1987.
For Crown : Mr. Mokhobo For Defendent : In Person.
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