HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
Appeal of :
by the Hon. Justice M.L. Lehohla on the 6th day of September,1990
appellant received a sentence of four years' imprisonment after being
convicted on a charge of Culpable Homicide in the Court
appealed to this Court against both conviction and sentence.
Court dismissed the appeal against conviction and upheld part of the
appeal against sentence to the extent that the sentence
to two years' imprisonment.
following are the reasons for that decision:- The appellant's father
who was not cross-examined at the end of his evidence-in-chief
the Court below that on the day of the events i.e. 1-6-89 the
appellant told him that he had assaulted someone whom he found
house. This someone turned out to be the deceased. The events took
place at night.
further evidence which was not challenged that the appellant reported
to his chief that he had assaulted somebody at
this report the chief hurried to the appellant's home where the
deceased lay dead.
weapon used to inflict the injury was an iron bar. The location of
the injuries was the deceased's head.
evidence showed that the cause of the injuries would be consistent
with use of a blunt instrument which is heavy or applied
force. The resultant injury was consistent with a heavy blow on the
confession made before the Magistrate the appellant stated that his
wife and a man were speaking in an unlit bedroom. The appellant
announced his presence and when the wife opened the door the deceased
ran out and was followed by the appellant till the deceased
and fell on a heap of sand a few yards away from the appellant's
house. The appellant assaulted him. The deceased tried
himself but it appears the appellant gave him no quarter.
under cross-examination in the evidence in which the appellant sought
to improve on his confession or even tried to renege
on it he
reluctantly conceded that he assaulted the deceased first. It seems
the deceased was in fact surprised to have been assaulted
text goes :-
"Are you aware that when this man got out of the house he was
not fighting but he was leaving......?
I am saying he came to fight.
Why did he run away if he came to fight according to you as the
result of which he bumped on the sand.......?
He ran away because he was not aware that I would assault him first".
considering sentence this Court took the view that the appellant not
being aware that the deceased's behaviour culminating in
appellant's wife ordering him to leave was in large measure prompted
by drink. The deceased and the appellant's wife were not
appellant's jealousy fed on him to the extent that even though the
house in which his wife and the deceased were was not in
darkness as there was a candle light in the kitchen on whose door the
appellant knocked, he set his mind on assaulting the
man whose voice
he had heard while outside.
appellant's behaviour immediately after the assault was consistent
with that of a remorseful person. He confessed to his father.
the chief about what happened and did not through his lawyer try to
challenge the evidence of these two witnesses even
though it served
to connect him with the offence. He didn't waste the Court's time
because he knew their evidence was true. The
appellant was a first
offender. Account being taken of the above considerations the
sentence imposed by the Court below
to err on the side of severity.
Appellant : Mr. Teele
Respondent : Mr. Thetsane
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