A first time offender who is also an orphan escaped a 10-year jail term after Francistown Magistrate Sijabuliso Siziba feared that time behind bars would turn the 18 year- old- into a hard core criminal.
Siziba also put into consideration Gosaitse Meshack’s background, that of being an orphan who lost father and mother in 2002 and 2007 respectively.
Meshack who hails from Tutume was arraigned before courts after him and another suspect who did not appear before court broke and stole clothes and two cameras from a dwelling house in April this year.
In mitigation the teenager who is a former drought relief worker said: “I committed this crime only because I was hungry and needed something to eat. I am asking the court to forgive me for what I did.”
Passing judgement told Meshack that hunger was not a defence but a motive for stealing. “Both offences carry an imprisonment term of 10 years and in passing sentence I must ensure the sentence fits the offender and the crime. You deserve a chance of reformation, since you are also a young citizen. I have also considered that your plea of guilty shows a sign of remorse and repentance,” he said.
He then sentenced the teenager to two lashes on the buttocks for house breaking and a one year wholly suspended sentence for stealing from a dwelling house.
Outside court Meshack who only went as far as Form three in school revealed that he came to Francistown with a friend to try his luck of getting a job in the city. He also said he does not know anyone or have a place to sleep while hopping to strike it big.