Panyane v Director of Public PROSECUTIONS (CRI/APN/664/2001)

Case No: 
CRI/APN/664/2001
Media Neutral Citation: 
[2001] LSHC 124
Judgment Date: 
3 December, 2001

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CRI/APN/664/2001 IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO

In the matter between:-

TSIETSIPANYANE APPLICANT

and

THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS RESPONDENT

JUDGMENT

Delivered by the Honourable Mr Justice S.N. Peete on 3rd December, 2001

Having heard Mr Putsoane and having heard Ms Mofubelu, the application is granted and the conviction and sentence of applicant are set aside for the following reasons.

Firstly, section 5 (2) of the Childrens Protection Act 1980 provides that where a person below (18) eighteen is charged with an adult, the Director of Public Prosecution must direct that such a person be tried jointly with an adult before a Subordinate Court sitting as such. The appellant was below eighteen (18) years when tried and ex facie the record, the DPP had not directed as required by law. This amounted to a mistrial justifying quashing of proceedings.

2

Secondly, upon the merits of the case there is no sufficient evidence proving beyond reasonable doubt that applicant committed the crime of theft or if not, at least subjectively knew that the vehicle he drove was stolen; the applicant's explanation was reasonably possibly true.

Conviction and sentence are hereby set aside.

S.N.PEETE

JUDGE

For Applicant: Mr Putsoane
Crown : Ms Mofubelu