Sunday, June 16, 2024

Additional 10 years in jail for habitual criminal

A high profile criminal serving an 11-year sentence for murder and rape was last week slapped with an additional 10 years in jail by Francistown High Court Judge, Mpaphi Phumaphi.

According to the charge sheet, Phemelo Patelelo, aged 20 and of Khurumela Ward in Palapye, was charged with five counts of robbery, rape and unlawful wounding.

Patelelo, who is regarded as a highly dangerous criminal, on the 5th of October in 2006, in Thomadithotse Ward in Palapye, robbed a female victim of P150 and then raped her.

He then accompanied her to her house where he further stabbed her boyfriend with a knife.

During the same night after the offence had been committed, he met another female victim and robbed of P2 at knife point and repeatedly raped her.

Patelelo committed all these offences while he was on bail for a murder and rape case, of which he was later convicted and sentenced to 11 years in jail in October in 2007.

However, during mitigation, Patelelo prayed before the court to be granted mercy with regard to the robbery offences, saying that the money he robbed was small.

He went on to tell the court that he was young when he committed the offences and added that if given a jail sentence he will learn nothing from prison to make him a better citizen.

“The court should also consider that when I robbed the complainants, none of them sustained injuries,” he added.

The Judge intervened to tell the accused that no matter how small the money might be, it clearly shows that even if the complainants had much money, he would have still taken it all.

Justice Phumaphi also added that he did not harm the complainants during robbery because they did not resist.

“A prison sentence must be imposed to send a message to society not to follow suit,” the judge said.
During the final submissions, the state counsel, Waniwa Ngebani, also rubbished the claim of youthfulness by the accused and said Patelelo maliciously committed the crimes.

“The accused will be sentenced to 10 years for the first count of rape, 10 years for robbery, 3 years for unlawful wounding, 10 years for the second charge of rape and 10 years for the second count of robbery and the sentences will run concurrently,” Justice Phumaphi remarked.


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