MASERU — A 27-year-old man, Matsoso Lieta, begged for mercy in court last Thursday saying he raped an 80-year-old woman after he had been overcome by “evil thoughts”.
“I do not know what to say I was just overcome by evil thoughts,” Lieta told the court.
Maseru magistrate, ‘Makampong Mokhoro, rejected his plea for mercy and slapped a 10-year-jail sentence on him.
“I have come to the conclusion that there are no extenuating circumstances that would influence the reduction of the minimum penalty,” Mokhoro said.
Lieta, from Ha-Abia Mapeseleng in Maseru, was found guilty of violating the Sexual Offences Act of 2003.
The crown alleged that Lieta committed an unlawful sexual act on ‘Mamoipati Mosito against her will.
The court heard that Lieta attacked Mosito in a donga, tripped her to the ground before ripping off her clothes.
She screamed for help forcing Lieta to flee.
She later went home and related what happened to her grandson, Phapano Mosito.
Mosito reported the matter to Chief Mopeli Matsoso who referred them to Thetsane police.
A case of attempted rape was reported at the police.
The magistrate said while there was no penetration Lieta had committed a serious offence.
“The facts outlined do not disclose the actual commission of the offence but disclose an attempt to commit an offence as accused used physical force to force the complainant to submit to an unlawful sexual act even though he did not ultimately carry it to completion,” Mokhoro said.
The magistrate said under the Sexual Offences Act the accused had committed an offence punishable by a jail sentence.
He was also charged with escaping from lawful custody after he fled from Maseru magistrate court on 30 January 2008.
He was slapped with a two-year-jail term to run concurrently with the main term.
“The accused could have demonstrated remorse by coming forward to stand his trial, instead of being accidentally caught after 20 months,” Mokhoro said.
Lieta pleaded for the court’s mercy saying he was still young.
The magistrate said despite Lieta being a young offender he had previous convictions and had run away from the police to frustrate the administration of justice.
Mokhoro said Lieta had not demonstrated any remorse at any stage.