HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
Appeal of :
the Hon. Mr. Justice F.X. Rooney on the 12th Day of January, 1982.
Mofolo for the Appellant Mr. Kabatsi for the Crown.
appeal against sentence came for hearing on the 11th December, 1981,
I alleviated the severity of sentence to some extent.
These are my
reasons for taking that course.
accused was charged before Mr. E.T. Mophethe at Maseru with the theft
of two bags of beans, the property of the Lesotho Government.
pleaded guilty and on conviction was sentenced to 18 months
to the Public Prosecutor, the accused was employed to manage a
cooperative at Maseru. His main duty was to receive goods
store and sell them on behalf of the Government. On the 17th October,
1981, two detectives went to the store with marked
R10 bank notes.
They asked the accused to sell them two bags of beans. Warrant
officer Ramoholi paid the accused M80.00 with the
marked notes and
took away the two bags of beans. The accused did not follow the
normal procedure which required the buyers to
pay the cashier
obtain a receipt. Instead, the accused put the marked notes in his
further stated that the correct price of the beans was M124.80. No
explanation was offered or asked for by the magistrate
as to why the
beans were sold at less then their ordinary price. The facts suggest
that some conversation took place between the
accused and the two
police officers preceding the transaction in the course of which the
reduced price was agreed. In my view the
magistrate ought to have
inquired closely into this aspect of the matter in order to determine
the extent and nature of the temptation
put in the way of the accused
by the two policemen. If such information had been obtained by the
magistrate it might have shown
that the accused had been induced by
the police to commit a crime. This would have been a relevant
consideration affecting the
severity of the sentence. (R. v. Small
1968) 3 S.A. 561. While I agree with the magistrate that the theft of
has become a prevelent and serious matter which
often merits severe punishment (Fano v. R. 1980)(1) LLR 146), the
I have mentioned moved me to lessen the punishment by
conditionally suspending 9 months of the sentence of imprisonment
upon the appellant.
for the Grown : MLaw Office.
for the Appellant. Mr. M.G. Mofolo.
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