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Court’s View On Lehupu Sentence

PINI BOTHOKO
Aobakwe Lehupu
Even though Aobakwe Lehupu’s family is not pleased with the 25-year sentence he received and sees it as being too lenient, the court feels Lehupu, 27, is still young.

The court is confident he has ample time to reform and become a useful member of the society.

The remarks were made by Gaborone High Court judge Michael Leburu when he was delivering his sentence recently. Judge Leburu said Lehupu who faced four counts of murder, two counts of attempted murder, two counts of arson, one count of rape and two counts of common assault deserves another chance to reflect and turn a new leaf.

Lehupu had killed his family members that included his grandmother, grandfather, aunt and niece at Ratshere lands in the outskirts of Molepolole in May 2014. Then, he torched a hut in which his grandmother and niece were, burning them to death. He also raped and stabbed his aunt with a knife before hacking his grandfather with an axe. Lehupu also assaulted and threatened two of his family members including his own mother.

However, despite all these charges, Justice Leburu said the sentence to be imposed has to be meted out in a measure of mercy and should not bring a sense of shock on him. 

“I shall also take into account what was submitted by the defence attorney during mitigation of sentence. The convict has been in custody since he was arrested, he was

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denied bail and his pre-conviction and sentence period of incarceration shall be discounted from his effective imprisonment term,” Leburu said.

Judge Leburu had sentenced Lehupu to 25 years imprisonment for each of the four murder case, five years for each arson case, 10 years for each attempted murder cases, two years for each common assault cases and 15 years imprisonment for a rape count.

“Because the offences formed a series of interrelated and interwoven occurrences committed within a short spell of time, I shall order the imprisonment sentences to run concurrently and shall backdate to the time the convict was first denied bail by the Magistrate’s Court,” Leburu said.

Judge Leburu had also said he considered Lehupu is from a rusty background and lacks sophistication. He added that Lehupu has never been to school and he appeared genuinely remorseful for what he did to his family members.

“He regrets his violence and aggressive tendencies that he meted out on his dear family members. Such uncalled for conduct will continue to haunt the convict for the rest of his life and it will always remind him that crime does not pay. His intoxication, youthfulness and lack of premedication in my view, outweigh the aggravating factors,” the judge said.



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