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Juvenile convicts get 6 years for rape and robbery

ILLUSTRATION: Jail cell

Two youthful Maun men who were convicted for raping a woman during an armed robbery at her home in Thito ward four years ago have been sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for robbery and another 6 years for rape.

Both sentences will run concurrently, which means they will spend only six years in prison.

The duo, Leatile Setlhare and Michael Jepuira Kandu, were teenagers aged 17 and 19 when they attacked a young woman at around 2:00am on Sunday, 3 December 2017.

It is said the woman had parked her car next to her house but as soon as she got out, the two thugs pounced on her, snatching her Samsung J5 phone (valued at P2, 500) before running away.

As the woman ran into the house, the two boys quickly returned, forcing entry and holding the terrified woman at knife-point.

They then tied her up with a shoelace, dragged her to the bedroom and demanded money, of which she gave them P750.

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After collecting the cash, the duo took turns raping her before finally ordering her to take a bath.

When passing sentence Maun Chief Magistrate, Thebeetsile Mulalo, took into consideration that the two were still young at the time of the incident.

“The accused persons were still young at the time of the crime; aged 17 and 19 years therefore juvenile, the mobile phone that was stolen was found intact and most of the money was also found,” highlighted Mulalo and added that, “The accused stand convicted of an offence that is highly prevalent and that the offences of sexual nature have escalated gender-based violence. The minimum sentence for the offences is 10 years imprisonment unless there are some extenuating circumstances.”

According to Mulalo the defense argued that the duo was driven by youthful exuberance.

“I agree that youthful exuberance could have influenced them but that alone cannot amount as an extenuating circumstance. We were also urged to look into the background of the first accused through the social welfare report that was submitted by the social workers and it was found that he has a troubled background,” explained Mulalo.

The accused persons’ age at the time of the crime and the social background compelled Magistrate Mulalo to impose a sentence lesser than the minimum 10 years for each count.

“Both accused persons are sentenced to imprisonment term of six years in the first count and six years for the second count, the sentence are to run concurrently,” ruled Mulalo

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The sentence will take into account the period of 1 year and 34 days that Setlhare spent in custody awaiting finalization of the matter as well as Kandu’s 34 days spent in custody.

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