HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the matter of :
V SELLO MOSOEUNYANE
J U D G M E N T
Delivered by the Hon. Mr. Justice M.L. Lehohla on the
22nd day of November, 1989.
The accused in this case was charged with the crime of
assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
He appeared before the magistrate in the Subordinate
Court - T.Y. where he pleaded guilty as charged. In brief the facts
on the 6th July 1989 the complainant Mosiuoa Seemahale aged
10 was herding donkeys and in the process rode on one of the
donkeys. It is this event that infuriated the accused
with the result that he assaulted this young man. The assault was so
with a whip that one Thabo Seboka intervened but the state of
the child's injuries were such that he underwent hospitalisation from
7th of July until August 1989.
The doctor who examined the complainant formed the
opinion that a blunt instrument was used with force to inflict
injuries that the
complainant suffered. The doctor among the
observations that he made found that there were severe contusions on
the child's body
and more particularly on the left eye which the
doctor found or
established that it had some softness to the touch which
needed following up. The doctor also established that the force that
used was severe. So it would appear that the verdict that was
reached by the learned magistrate was proper that the intent here
must have been to cause grievous bodily harm.
Mr Moorosi appearing before me today argued that
the accused is the man who suffered some injuries sometime in the
past as the result of which
he turned epileptic.
I have before me exhibit "A", a health book
belonging to the accused. In my view it seems that it was kept as a
showing the treatments that the accused has been undergoing in
the years 1982 to 1986 or
The magistrate, although this matter fell within his
jurisdiction felt that it should come to this court because he fears
state of the accused's health might be such that
imprisonment will not be proper. But there was no evidence led
before him, after
he had found the accused guilty, as to whether the
accused would carry the sentence or that his health would not equal
prescribed by the minimum penalities Order 44 of 1988.
Mr Moorosi was invited by the court to say now
authority should be relied on to support this learned
magistrate's fear and he said that there wasn't
anyauthority. I am also aware of none.
It therefore is the duty of the court to impose the
penalty which is not lower than that which is prescribed in the law.
learned Counsel for the crown was also invited for
purposes of finding whether this fear by the learned magistrate has
In the circumstances I am afraid the sentence to be
imposed is one which is prescribed as the minimum according to the
Apart from the horror that the little child must have
suffered - we are told that the eye got injured and
regard being had to the fact that the child's offence
was but a minor thing as we know that boys always ride on donkeys:
justify the savage attack that he was subjected to. I
am afraid that the accused will have to be sent to jail for 5 years.
J U D G E. 22nd November, 1989.
For Crown : Mr Lenono For Defence : Mr Moorosi.
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