Teen girl gets three year jail sentence for car theft

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JWANENG: A 19-year-old woman, Phatsimo Ijani of Tutume village, broke down in tears after she was sentenced to three years, five months in jail for car theft and theft common.

Sentencing the accused, Magistrate Odirile Mokgatle said Ijani was young and had mitigated that she had intentions to go to school.

Mokgatle also mentioned that he had considered the accused plea for mercy that she had been reconciled with her family with the intervention of social workers recently after being otracised from them since she was a small child.

The magistrate said the accused was caught red-handed after stealing the car and driving around the country with other stolen items.

Mokgatle however noted that the accused was not new before the courts of law as she has previous convictions that she had admitted to.

He said a sentence fit for the accused will be a balanced one, which was not too harsh or too merciful before the eyes of the public.

Mokgatle noted that being young was not an extenuating circumstance that could earn  a court’s mercy in the jurisprudence of Botswana.

“An 18-year-old is considered a young adult who has the responsibility to vote, drive a motor vehicle, marry or get into any legal contract,” said Mokgatle.

The court learnt that on February 12, 2015 at Unit 2 in Jwaneng, the accused stole a black Hyundai worth P28,000, the property of one Tebelelo Badukani. She also stole goods amounting to more than P1,500.

In a separate incident on a different date, the accused stole goods amounting to P5,565 being the properties of one Phetoyaone Montle. The accused was sentenced to 42 months imprisonment on the first count of motor vehicle theft.

On the second and third count of theft she was slapped with an 18 months imprisonment, wholly suspended for two years respectively.

The sentences were backdated to the time she was remanded in custody.

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