Rapist wins, loses within seconds

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Convicted rapist and serial robber Bolokang Simololang must be a bundle of nerves after the Court of Appeal (CoA) overturned the ruling of a lower court only to impose the same sentence on him yesterday.

When delivering his verdict, CoA judge Seth Twum said the 23-year sentence imposed on Simololang was beyond the sentencing jurisdiction of a Principal Magistrate, who first heard the matter.

The lower court had convicted him of six counts of different offences ranging from rape to burglary and sentenced him to an effective 23 years.

“It is clear that the Magistrate was beyond his sentencing jurisdiction,” said Justice Twum.

But Simololang’s joy lasted only a couple of seconds as Justice Twum continued: “However I am not suggesting that the appellant’s cumulative sentence of 23 years will be reduced. The offences committed were brutal and horrendous”.

Twum explained that despite the magistrate going beyond his jurisdiction, the totality of the evidence was too incriminating for the appellant and the crimes were horrendous more so that he raped a 77-year-old woman and raped another in front of her son.

“The appellant was 26 years at the time and he had the audacity to rape an old woman, old enough to be his grandmother without any shame or remorse. Therefore the sentence of 23 years calculated with other offences of burglary and stealing will remain as it is,” he said.

He said the appeal court had powers under Section 13 (5) of the Court of Appeal Act, that if it believed a different sentence should have been passed, quash the sentence passed in the lower court and substitute it, whether greater or lesser or of a different character than the original sentence.

Simololang was charged with three offences of burglary, two for rape, and stealing from a dwelling house, in 2009.

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