A 31-year-old petty thief left the Gaborone West Customary Court in tears after he was sentenced to one year in jail, wholly suspended for three years, plus four strokes on the bum for breaking into a house and stealing a cell phone.
Thatayaone Monnamme, 31, pleaded not guilty to charges of breaking into a house at Gaborone West and stealing a cell phone belonging to Keamogetse Lephoko, who was also in court to give evidence.
According to the evidence given to Gaborone West Deputy Customary Court President, Aron Setshwane, by the owner of the stolen cell phone, Keamogetse said that she knew the accused as Mthethwa and that he always drank beer at a place near where she stays. She said Mthethwa had asked her out on several occasions.
Keamogetse told the court that on the night of August 28, 2006, she heard her sisters shouting that someone was inside the house and when she woke up, she came face to face with the accused after her sister switched on the light. She told the court that the accused bolted out with her cell phone, leaving the claw hammer and axe he had used to break into the house.
Keamogetse also told the court that the accused stole their clothes worth P526 from their house while they were asleep but the stolen clothes were recovered.
State prosecutor from Gaborone West Police Station, Constable Tsaone Harold Sedimo, produced the claw hammer and axe in court as part of the evidence.
The accused then changed his plea to guilty and Kgosi Setshwane told the court that he was not happy with the number of cases of theft in his area. He told the accused that he was lucky because he was a first offender and advised him to go and rebuild his life.
He sentenced him to one year in jail, wholly suspended for three years, plus four strokes on the bum.