Rapist sentenced to 15 years

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FRANCISTOWN: A 40-year old man was sentenced to 15 years in jail yesterday for a single charge of rape that he committed at Mulambakwena village in the North East in 2012.

High Court Justice Phadi Solomon sentenced Victor Matopi, because the magistrate who found him guilty of the offence at Masunga had no powers to sentence him to a jail sentence of more than 10 years.

Passing sentence, Solomon said that she took into account that the accused is taking care of his ailing mother and children. Solomon also stated that she considered that Matopi said that he was of ill health and as such a longer prison term would be detrimental to his health.

The judge also noted that while Solomon had been convicted last August, no HIV test had been ordered for him. Under local law, rapes in which the offenders have HIV carry tougher penalties.

The judge said while she empathised with his health, she had taken note of the nature of the crime.

“Having considered all the factors that were placed before me, I am of the view that violence was used which is an aggravating factor,” said Solomon.

“I do not find any exceptional extenuating circumstances that may have led him to commit the offence and be used to minimise his sentence.”

Solomon’s sentence is backdated to the time when he was first incarcerated.

Counsel Kebigetse Reek from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) represented the state while the accused conducted his own defence.

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