CHARLES MUSONDA writes
HUNGER forced me to steal chickens, a convict told the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court yesterday before he was jailed 10 months with hard labour for the subject offence.
Before Magistrate Racheal Mwansa was Simon Goma, 24, unemployed of house number 1664 Matero, who admitted breaking into a building and committing a felony, contrary to Section 303 (a) of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.
Particulars of offence were that on January 7, 2019 in Lusaka West, with intent to steal, Goma broke into a poultry house and stole four layer chickens valued at K340, property of Crawin Farm.
Asked by the court to explain what he used to break into the poultry house, Goma said he just removed the chicken wire with his hands.
He admitted that he got the chickens because he wanted to eat them as he was hungry but that he was not allowed to take the birds and further confessed that he had no lawful justification for his action.
Facts before court were that on January 7, 2019 around 03:00 hours, two Crawin Farm workers apprehended Goma when they found him in the poultry house with the four chickens in his hands.
They later took him to the farm manager who instructed them to report the matter to the police. He was then interviewed by a police officer who later took him to the scene to demonstrate how he entered the building and stole the chickens.
Under warn and caution statement, Goma did not give a satisfactory explanation and he gave a free and voluntary reply admitting the charge.
In mitigation yesterday, the convict told the court that he looks after his younger brother as their parents are both dead.
He also said from the time he was arrested, his relatives do not know his whereabouts but Magistrate Mwansa advised him to ask the officer-in-charge at prison to call his family. Goma also asked the court to forgive him.
Passing sentence, Ms. Mwansa noted that Goma is a first offender who deserved lenience and that he did not waste the court’s time by admitting the charge.
She however warned him that the offence he committed is a serious one which carries a maximum sentence of seven years and that it is prevalent in society.