HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
Appeal of :
the Hon. Mr. Justice F.X. Rooney on the 13th day of October, 1982.
Mofolo for the Appellant Mr. Kabatsi for the Crown,
3rd August, 1982, the appellant appeared before Mr. T.S. Motinyane,
charged with stealing a goat. He pleaded guilty and on
sentenced to 3 months imprisonment. He appealed to this Court against
the severity of this sentence.
30th September, 1982, I quashed the conviction and sentence.
According to the statement of facts presented to the court by
prosecutor, the complainant's goat went astray in July of this year.
On the 29th of that month, the complainant and the police
came to the
accused's home and inspected his flock. The statement goes on to say
"A goat with different ear-marks was found. It was identified by
complainant as his stray goat. Accused was asked to give
which he did furnish. He was arrested cautioned and charged."
prosecutor did not tell the court and the magistrate did not ask him
what the explanation was which the appellant gave to the
all I know, he may have explained the circumstances in which the goat
was found among his flock in a manner
with his guilt. It is not enough that an accused pleads guilty. The
statement of facts must disclose that he is guilty.
inference can be drawn simply because the missing goat was found
among the appellant's flock.
unable to accept Mr. Kabatsi's argument that the nature of the crime
of theft was so well known that the possibility of mistake
part of the appellant could be disregarded. There is statutory
obligation on a Subordinate Court to hear and record the
disclosed by the evidence in the prosecutor's possession (Sec. 240
(1)(b) Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act. It has been
numerous cases that unless the facts establish the existence of an
offence, the accused must be acquitted (See Apell v.
Rex 1981 (1) LLR
49 and cases cited therein at 51, Rex v. Khalema & Another 1981
(1) LLR 97 and Rex v. Khama 1981 (1) LLR 128)
for the Crown : Law Office.
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