HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
SHOAEPANE First Accused (Al)
RATHAHA Second Accused (A2)
by the Honourable Mr Justice T Monapatfai on 24th day of May, 2006
circumstances have already been found in favour of the Accused on the
19th May 2006. That is in terms of section 296(1)
of the Criminal
Procedure and Evidence Act, 1981 (the CP &E)
about the sentence of this accused, a young man indeed who had just
completed his form "E" at school.
noted many things during my judgment concerning the circumstances of
this case. One of them was that Accused's father even
Accused to the Police.
am learning and I want to believe that it is the intention of the
accused's parents "to raise the head of the deceased
to custom of Basotho." I believe that will happen because
Defence Counsel can't say it not he himself convinced
that it is the
intention so expressed. I considered this restorative justice in
the tilings said before this court was that the deceased and this
accused's parents are related. This means that the killing
and hurtful to relatives.
further that Accused is a first offender. These thing have valued and
meaning to sentence. That he is a first offender obviously
that he is not the kind of man who has before this event brushed
against the law. I have made a lot of comments in my
extenuation of circumstances. Most of these things stand in favour of
pointed out the issue of his youth, that he is still a young man. I
have also pointed out the unfortunate circumstance that
the cause of
the fight between this Accused and the Deceased had to do
love affair. And I appreciated that for a young man these things of
love affairs only bring a lot of confusion to their minds
people in that they confuse or derail his discretion while he should
have held back or not used violence. He used violence.
result of the death was that Deceased died and that is a loss to his
family. He will not come back to life. His children are
now without a
father. His dependants are now without a provider. He had a business.
That business is no longer has a driver or
a manager. This underlines
the fact that the Accused has done a serious act for which he must be
do say from time to time that we must look at a lot of things in
situations like this. Firstly one must consider the
offence and the interest of the society. Secondly that one has to
look at the fact that courts are there to protect
the society and
this they must show in the kind of sentences that they pass.
punishing offenders courts must pass sentences that reflect the need
to protect society and then indicate by their attitude wherever
necessary that a crime of certain seriousness has been committed.
determining and assessing an appropriate sentence, the court must
look at the main purpose of sentencing. Firstly it is
to deter others
not to commit similar or other offences. Secondly it is to prevent
such occurrences and reform the offender. So
that as the main purpose
one would say is to rehabilitate the offender.
the same time courts are warned not to be angry or overzealous in
sentencing offenders. That is why it is said they must
the aspect of mercy, because mercy is part of justice.
sentencing, courts should not do this thing that is called an eye for
an eye, at the same time courts should not be seem to be
or too harsh because in doing so then the dignity of the courts will
young man before court has been convicted of murder. This
demonstrates in our law that he has done a serious tiling. That
offenders should be dealt with sternly in fitting circumstances is
indicated by the fact that there are prisons. It is unfortunate
prisons are not ideal places to live in. This emphasizes that the
main purpose of incarceration or custodial sentence is to
convicts of their liberty.
imposing custodial sentence the courts will always say in addition
that they are removing offenders from the society, the reasons
always give is that oh! this is a way of protecting the society from
the criminal acts of offenders. And in addition it is
punishment should be demonstrated for what it is intended to be.
one the unfortunate case that I have come across. It is because
circumstances clear indicate that this was an unfortunate
and it should not have happened.
comes out very sharply is the youth of this accused, who had just
completed school and who had a future. One begins to worry
as to what
the effect of imprisonment will be on him if he is sentence to
prison. And one may not be happy at the thought, but
the law still
stands in the statute books that say that there shall be imprisonment
for serious offences.
that I am unhappy, and if the offence committed by the Accused was an
offence that did not belong to section 314 of the
CP & E (about
postponement and suspension of sentence) I would have done many
things, but my hands are tied. I have no alternative
to send this
young man to prison.
mind I remain seeking that I have impose as lenient sentence as
possible. It must not be too lenient because it will look
nonsensical. It is because if it does so it may send a wrong signal
that people can do things with impunity. It is a good state
affairs if people still believe in that the law is effective. That's
what we are looking for, so that the society can say that
still strives to protect it. I repeat that the circumstances of this
case are unfortunate.
stand up sir, I am making an order that you be sent to prison, that
you be imprisoned for a period of four (4) years without
option of a
fine. In prison you will be dealt with according to the Prison Rules.
And you will be rewarded for good behaviour if
you exhibit such
behaviour. So that this period of four (4) years may end up being
lesser than what it really is. That is all Mr.
Monyako I thank you,
Ms. Mofilikoane I thank you for your useful submissions.
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