FRANCISTOWN: A man who killed his lover over a quarrel about entertainment has been sentenced to seven years in jail.
Justice Barnabas Nyamadzabo sentenced Temogo Otsogile for killing Kago Gaobotswe at Setshe ward in Mogorosi on July 17, 2010.
The fight was sparked by Gaobotswe’s refusal to go home with the accused, who is the father of their two young children.
According to the judgement, Otsogile told the deceased that they should go home and sleep because they were already drunk, but she refused telling him that they should instead go to another place of entertainment to continue drinking alcohol.
Otsogile then told her that he did not like the way she was behaving, further stating that the next morning she should bring their young children to him so that they could start living with him.
The judgement further states that the deceased then accused Otsogile of cheating on her with another woman and she subsequently pushed him to the ground.
Otsogile fell on the ground and picked a knife that he used to stab the deceased and she passed on later. Otsogile was initially charged with murder but the charge was changed to manslaughter.
Passing sentence, Nyamadzabo said the morality of the act, motive of committing the offence and personal circumstances of the accused should be factored in before coming to a just sentence. He added: “Punishment should fit the offence committed while safeguarding the interests of society. It is a delicate balance that should be exercised with utmost care and should not be approached with a spirit of anger otherwise offenders will be unfairly sentenced”.
Further, Nyamadzabo said that while the offence is horrendous, the courts should not look at aggravating factors but should also consider mitigating factors. He added that Otsogile was provoked by the deceased to commit the offence, which is also an extenuating circumstance that reduced the offence to manslaughter.
“Both the accused and deceased were drunk before the offence was committed. The possibility of drunkenness cannot be excluded because it may have influenced the accused to act the way he did.
Alcohol sometimes clouds people’s minds. This offence also happened a long time back which should also be taken into consideration,” said Nyamadzabo adding that the incident tortured the accused. Nyamadzabo stated that the issue of the couple’s two children should also be considered.
“Although the accused killed their mother he will always remain their father just like the deceased will always remain their mother even in her death. This being the case, it may be best not to give the accused a long custodial sentence so that he may continue with his parental responsibilities. It is our hope that prison will rehabilitate him to become a better person in society,” said the judge.
The accused, Nyamadzabo said, is a first offender a factor, which works in his favour. “The courts of law are normally lenient with first offenders, but this does not mean that the accused’s actions are tolerated. The exhibited knife should be forfeited to the state for disposal. An order is also made that the P2,000 he paid for his bail should be returned to him. He is advised of his right to appeal to the court of appeal in six weeks,” concluded Nyamadzabo.