Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Jail term against notorious robber a “miscarriage of justice” ÔÇô says lawyer

A 15-year jail sentence against notorious robber, David July, is too severe and constitutes a miscarriage of justice ÔÇô Francistown lawyer, Tiro Mothusi recently pleaded with the Court of Appeal.

July, who is accused of a spate of robberies among them the robbery of a police station, could have his jail term reduced should Mothusi manage to convince the judges.

Mothusi recently pleaded with the Court of Appeal to reduce the “excessive” 15-year jail sentence passed on July which he said was a “shock” and constituted “miscarriage of justice”.

Mothusi, argued that the High Court judge who dealt with the matter erred by not reducing his client’s sentence as was the case with July’s co accused. He submitted that the court had relied on a wrong principle of who took what degree of active role in the robbery.

The High Court, he further argued, erred in confirming the sentence of 15 years against his client who had never received a sentence greater than 10 years imprisonment for an offence of robbery and that this was not correct as sentences should be graded upwards.

The High Court, he further submitted, erred by holding that in giving his client higher sentences the Magistrate took into account that his client had a bad record. He argued that the High Court erred by not considering that, in the circumstances of the matter, the sentence imposed on the accused was so disproportionate to the nature and circumstances of the offence which, while serious, was not heinous as to warrant a sentence of that severity.

The sentence of 15 years against his client, he said, should have been reduced as the High Court had found that it was a misdirection for the Magistrate to have imposed a 15-year jail term on the understanding that he had taken an active part in the robbery and that it was now the duty of the Court of Appeal to do so if it was found that there was a misdirection by a trial Magistrate. July and his co-accused were found guilty of having robbed Shakawe Police Station after kidnapping a police officer.

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The Telegraph September 30

Digital edition of The Telegraph, September 30, 2020.