Repeat Offender to Serve Time in Jail

A 25-year-old man with three previous convictions felt the full wrath of the law when he was sent to jail for five months for stealing two roll-on deodorants worth N$35.

The accused Melvin Swartbooi, 24, pleaded guilty before Magistrate Justine Asino already on Monday, but as he had previous convictions the case was held over till yesterday. His previous convictions include possession of cannabis, drinking in public and theft.

In the latest crime he committed he admitted to stealing two roll-ons from Pick n Pay on May 09. In mitigation he told the court that he has a son of three years and that he does casual work cleaning yards and cutting down trees, for which he earns around N$1 500 on a monthly basis.

He asked the court for forgiveness and to be lenient on him. However, state prosecutor Verinao Kamehene said Swartbooi showed he has a propensity for commiting crime. He said the previous sentences Swartbooi received clearly had no deterrent effect and asked the court to impose a sentence of direct imprisonment. “Accused was not reformed by prior sentences he received, which clearly show the sentences were too lenient,” he told Asino.

According to Kamehene the only way Swartbooi could be reformed was to send him to jail.

Kamehene said although the value of the stolen items was minimal and recovered, the accused did a wrong and deserved to be punished.

Magistrate Asino told Swartbooi that he was a habitual offender who did not appreciate the mercy shown to him by the courts on previous occasions.

She said that since he was not deterred by the previous sentences, she would impose a sentence that should serve as a lesson to him and would-be offenders to show them that crime does not pay.

Source : New Era