Mmegi Online :: Paedophile escapes with suspended sentence
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Last Updated
Thursday 25 April 2019, 09:27 am.
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Paedophile escapes with suspended sentence

FRANCISTOWN: A convicted paedophile is counting his lucky stars after receiving a suspended sentence for the 2013 rape of his five year old cousin.
By Lechedzani Pitso Thu 22 Sep 2016, 16:09 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Paedophile escapes with suspended sentence








The 22-year-old man received a suspended term of five years in jail wholly suspended for two years on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within that period.

In addition, he was also sentenced to eight strokes after being certified fit by a medical practitioner.

Passing sentence, Senior Magistrate Thebeetsile Mulalu said the process of passing sentences is not easy in the criminal justice system.

Mulalu stated that the process is tedious adding, “the court should strike an equilibrium of not passing sentences that are less or more in the interests of the society, justice and accused.”

“The accused is a young man aged about 22. This would suggest that he was 19 years old when he committed the offence.

The court would also take into account that he is a first offender. I find all these factors and others that he said in his mitigation as fitting the description of mitigating factors,” said Mulalu adding that on the other hand, the accused has committed a serious offence.

Said Mulalu: “Offences of sex are very prevalent in our jurisdiction. To make matters worse, the accused raped his cousin who was then five years old. The harrowing ordeal she suffered at the hands of the accused has seriously tramautised her. Her situation was so serious that it even necessitated her to attend prolonged counseling sessions.”

Mulalu said the

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minimum sentence for rape is 10 years in jail but the court can pass lower sentences if there are exceptional extenuating circumstances.

“In the matter at hand, the youthfulness of the accused does not constitute an exceptional extenuating circumstance…The Court of Appeal has said that youthfulness may not constitute an exceptional extenuating circumstance.

As such I found it necessary to call the victim’s mother to address the court on how her relationship with the accused is after the accused committed the offence,” said Mulalu.

Mulalu said the accused and the victim’s mother are close relatives.

“She calls him her son and elder sister’s son and they also share the same homestead.

The complainant’s mother pleaded with the court to forgive him since the matter was discussed at home where reconciliation was brokered. It has also become clear that the incident ostracised the victim and her mother from the family,” said Mulalu.

He added that the victim suffered the most cruel form of abuse from the accused. “The child’s mother said the accused should be forgiven and the incident forgotten…In the circumstances, I find it fit to allow for mending of family relations…To me it would not serve anybody good if the accused is sent to jail...”

Prosecutor Mothusi Meshack from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appeared for the state while the accused appeared in person.

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