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Innocent pleads guilty

Innocent pleads guilty
JAILED: Innocent Phiri

House-breaker receives two year sentence

A young Zimbabwean man’s belief that his guilty plea would save him from jail backfired spectacularly when he was sentenced to two years behind bars.

Appearing before Extension II Magistrates recently, 22-year-old Innocent Phiri admitted to house breaking and stealing from a dwelling house, in an incident that dates back to May.

After admitting his guilt, the Gweru native begged presiding Magistrate, Ntombizodwa Ncube for leniency, claiming he came to Botswana with his friends, who later disappeared, leaving him with no money for the bus fare to return home.

Phiri, who is a first time offender, blamed ‘the situation he found himself in’ for committing the crime.

Outlining the evidence against the Phiri, State Prosecutor Keorapetse Seleke had earlier told court that the burglary took place in Gaborone’s Extension 12 location at around 1100hrs on the 30th of May.

He said that one Gabalebole Lesedi returned home from work to find the suspect in her kitchen. Lesedi then asked the accused what he wants, with Phiri replying that he was looking for a piece job.

According to Seleke, the accused then tried to run away but was arrested by security officers and the police.

“Upon arrest the accused was found in possession of a bag full of the Lesedi’s properties worth P1, 734 and P380 cash. Investigations shows the accused person forced open the kitchen door and gained entry to steal,” the prosecutor continued.

When passing sentence, Magistrate Ncube said she had taken into account Phiri had shown remorse and, by pleading guilty, did not waste the court’s time.

Despite this, Ncube saw fit to sentence Phiri to two years imprisonment, much to the young man’s shock.

He has the right to appeal at High Court within 14 days if he is not happy with the sentence.