MASERU — A Lithabaneng man will spend the next three years in jail after he was convicted of housebreaking by the Maseru Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
Lehlohonolo Ramarou (22) broke into a shop belonging to Teboho Makhao on June 29 this year.
The shop is located in Ha Seoli, Maseru.
The court did not give him an option to pay a fine.
During the trial the court heard that Ramarou committed the crime with two accomplices, Letsatsi Raletaja and Bokang Mathokoane.
The crown said the three had cut the burglar bars to the shop to gain entry. Once inside the three men helped themselves to about M4000 in cash, the crown said.
Their luck however ran out when employees who were sleeping in the shop were startled by their noise.
The court heard that during the commotion that ensued Mathokoane managed to escape with the M4000 that they had stolen.
He is still at large.
Raletaja also escaped but was later arrested.
In a desperate bid to escape, the court heard, Ramarou stabbed one of the shop employees with a knife but was still overpowered and arrested.
Ramarou looked shocked on Tuesday when Magistrate ‘Makopano Taole said he was acquitting his co-accused Raletaja because the court could not find compelling evidence to convict him.
“As for the accused two (Raletaja) there is no evidence connecting him with the crime and he is found not guilty,” Taole said.
The magistrate however warned Raletaja.
“Don’t think you are clever, it just that there is no evidence connecting you with the crime, the time you have spent in custody when you were arrested must have taught you a lesson.”
As Raletaja walked away from the dock, the magistrate turned to Ramarou.
“Why do you do this if you have a responsibility?”
Ramarou had earlier appealed for mercy saying he is a family man with a wife and a young child.
“All the evidence connects you with the crime,” he said.
“The court has a duty to pass a deterrent sentence on people of the accused’s mind. You will go to prison for three years without an option of fine.”
During trial Ramarou had tried to wriggle out of trouble by alleging that he never participated in the burglary.
He told the court that he was attacked by the two men who pulled him into the shop.
This, he said, was how he found himself in the shop on the June 29 night.
The court however dismissed his explanation as a lie.