A reformed criminal who tried to run away from his past was this week arrested after hiding from the police for four months.
Sasha Besele (23), who used to be a recidivist thief and has now reformed into a steady life as a food vendor, escaped from police custody in May shortly before he was sentenced for malicious damage to property. He had been arraigned for damaging a gate in Gaborone in a fit of rage.
Police officers were still compiling the long list of Besele’s previous convictions before passing it to the Gaborone West Customary Court to consider when passing sentence, but the reformed thief was worried that his past would catch up with him and suck him back into a life of crime, so he decided to run away from the law.
The 23 year old vendor who sells food on the streets of Gaborone tried to have a new start in life and even tried to change his names to Keletso Benjamin. Leading evidence in court, Constable Daniel Segari related how Besele gave them wrong names when they caught him earlier last week.
Constable Segari told the court that Besele was a notorious criminal with a string of previous convictions to his name. Besele was first arrested as an 18 year old teenager and sentenced to two years in jail by the Gabane Customary Court, which found him guilty of burglary and theft in 2002.
A few months after his release from jail he was back at the Gabane Customary Court where he was sentenced to flogging after being found guilty of assault. A month later in August 2004 he was sentenced to flogging again after he was found guilty of house breaking and theft.
A year later he was sentenced to flogging again for theft. In his mitigation, Sasha told the court that he used to be a thief but has since mended his ways and was trying a fresh start in life. He pleaded with the court to give him a second chance.
He said he was now selling food on the streets of Gaborone to take care of his girlfriend and their child.
He was let off with a suspended sentence.