CRI/APN/664/2001 IN THE HIGH COURT OF LESOTHO
In the matter between:-
THE DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC PROSECUTIONS RESPONDENT
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.
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.
For Applicant: Mr Putsoane
Crown : Ms Mofubelu