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…court concludes there were extenuating circumstances
Convicted Granny Mhaladi of Sedie ward in Maun has escaped the hangman’s noose after the Maun High Court Judge Godfrey Nthomiwa sentenced him to 15 years for murdering a 70-year-old man of the same ward in 2017 over a traditional beer brawl.
The 29-year-old, who was 23 at the time of committing the offence is said to have on the 25th September 2017 hit Keamogile Bathali with a knob-kerrie at a drinking spot in Sedie following a brawl over traditional beer. The deceased later succumbed to his injuries the following day.
When passing the sentence Nthomiwa said since he established that there were extenuating circumstances in the commission of the offence, therefore in line with section 203 sub section 2of the criminal procedure and Evidence Act he would not sentence the convict to death.
The 15 years sentence Nthomiwa said will take into account a period of three years in which the convict spent in custody pending trial.
Mitigating for his client, Mhaladi’s attorney Charles Tlagae pleaded with the court to treat the convict as a first time offender and be lenient when passing sentence. He further pleaded for a lesser sentence arguing that the high level of intoxication on the night he committed the offence coupled with provocation from the deceased led him to commit the crime.
Evidence brought before court revealed that the deceased hit Mhaladi with a knob- kerrie leading to the accused taking the same weapon and hit him countless times on his ribs and neck. The deceased was taken to Letsholathebe II Memorial Hospital where he was later discharged only to succumb to his injuries the following day.
Convicting the defendant in October this year, Nthomiwa noted that state prosecution proved their case beyond reasonable doubt against the accused person. He highlighted that the manner in which Mhaladi continuously hit the deceased while on top of him even when people tried to stop him shows that his action was not an act of self-defence as he initially argued.
“He was using a weapon and it was that object which caused the injures to the deceased which he succumbed to, the accused is therefore found guilty of the murder of Bathali,” Nthomiwa delivered the judgment.