HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
by the Hon. Mr. Justice B.K. Molai on the 17th day of October. 1991.
accused is before me on a charge of murder, it being alleged that on
or about 14th March, 1988 and at or near Ha Letuka in the
Thaba-Tseka he unlawfully and intentionally killed Remaketse
charge was put to him the accused pleaded guilty to culpable
Homicide. Mr. Drametru who represents the accused in this
the court that the plea was in accordance with his instructions. Mr.
Lenono. counsel for the crown, told the court that
the crown accepted
the plea of guilty to culpable Homicide tendered by the defence. The
plea of guilty
culpable Homicide was accordingly entered.
significant that S,240 (l)(a) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence
Act. 1981 provides:
"240. (1) If a person charged with any offence before any court
pleads guilty to that offence or to an offence of which he
found guilty on that charge, and the prosecutor accepts that plea the
court may -
(a) if it is the High Court, and the person has pleaded guilty to any
offence other than murder, bring in a verdict without hearing
As it has
already been pointed out earlier, in the present case, the accused
who is charged with murder has pleaded guilty to culpable
which is a competent verdict to a charge of murder. The crown counsel
of guilty to culpable Homicide tendered by the defence.
authority of the provisions of the above cited S.240(1)(a) of the
Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. 1981 there is, in
circumstances of this case, no need to adduce evidence and the High
Court is perfectly entitled to return a verdict without
evidence at all.
accordingly find the accused guilty of culpable Homicide on his own
assessors agree with this finding.
now to the question of his sentence, the court took into account that
the accused had no previous convictions and was, therefore,
offender. The court was also invited to consider a number of factors
in mitigation of the accused's sentence. They were
all considered. In
particular the court took into account the fact that the deceased, a
young boy of about 10 years had allegedly
disobedient and ended up in sleeping away from home. In an attempt to
correct his behaviour the accused decided
to administer corporal
punishment to the boy but unfortunately overdid it.
however, be brought home to the accused and people of his mind that
although it is, in law, permissible to administer punishment
children who are misbehaving, the' punishment must be moderate. In
the instant case the medical report showed that following
corporal punishment administered by the accused the little boy was
found to have weals all over the body, a skull fracture
haemorrhage which resulted in his death. The injuries found on the
deceased boy are, in my opinion, not at all consistent
accused having administered a moderate punishment.
clearly exceeded the limits of a moderate punishment and if a
repetition of this sort of a thing were to be brought to a
is the need to impose a deterrent punishment.
accused is sentenced to pay a fine of M180 or, in
of payment of the fine, to serve a term of 18 months imprisonment.
: Mr. Lenono,
Defence: Mr. Drametru.
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