THE HIGH COURT OF MALAWI
APPEAL NO. 36 OF 2007
Kaira, Counsel for the State
Counsel for the Appellant
Kaferaanthu, Court Interpreter
C. Jalasi, Court Reporter
formal judgment of this court will be written in the course of time.
The judgment of this court against the first and second
on the facts and testimony on record, definitely that their
convictions were more than established. In fact listening
Nkhono the appeal by the two appellants is really against sentence.
The first appellant pleaded guilty to the charge of
second appellant, although he initially denied he ended up admitting
the charge of theft of the goods in question.
I am more than
satisfied that the charge of theft was established against these two
appellants. Their appeals in that regard
are therefore dismissed.
agree with both counsel before me that having charged the appellants
and convicting them of the substantive offence of theft
there was no
need to charge them with the offence of conspiracy. The conviction
of the appellants on the first count is therefore
Sentence that was imposed in that regard is set aside.
evidence against the third appellant entirely came from the first and
second appellants, who are co-accused. There was nothing
from any of
the witnesses for the prosecution. It is trite law that testimony
from co-accused persons should be treated with caution
and a court
should warn itself of the danger of convicting sorely on evidence of
I point out above the only testimony upon which the third appellant
was arrested and convicted that of the co-accused and even
involvement is not clearly spelt out. I will allow the third
appellant the benefit of doubt and set aside all the convictions
against him. I accordingly do.
to sentence against the first and second appellant I observe that the
first appellant was lucky to have been charged with the
mere theft. He should more appropriately have been charged with the
offence of theft by servant. As regards the second
appellant, I only
need to observe that the offence was well planned and although the
property was recovered, I have serious misgivings
myself for thieves
who steal public property. The goods which the appellants stole were
for the construction of a public structure.
We need a community that
has respect for such properties. Infact if it were for me I would
have imposed a much higher sentence.
dismiss the appeals for both appellants against sentence.
in Open Court at Lilongwe this 9th
day of August 2007.
J U D G E
by D. Mtaya
on 8/7/2007 10:37:00 a8/p8
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