|3 years for escaping from lawful custody|
|Thursday, 16 August 2012 00:09|
A rapist suspect, who escaped from lawful custody at Murehwa magistrates’ courts into the nearby bush, has been sentenced to an effective three years in prison. The man (name withheld to protect the victim) had been remanded in custody after appearing in court facing charges of raping his 13-year-old niece.
The man suddenly bolted out of court after the court revoked his bail at the close of the State’s case.
In passing sentence, magistrate Mr Noel Mupeyiwa said the man’s moral blameworthiness was very high because he undermined the courts of law.
Mr Mupeyiwa threw him behind bars for four years but set aside one year for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence within that period.
Prosecutor Mr Panganai Chiutsi called for a stiffer penalty arguing that the man committed a very serious offence.
“The accused person is facing a very serious offence in that he bolted out court . . . under the nose of the regional magistrate, court officials who included the police and prison officers.
“A fine will trivialise the offence and community service will not serve any purpose since he was not even deterred by the presence of the court officials.
“If he did this before the officers, what will stop him from defaulting the community service?
“A custodial sentence will meet the justice of the offence,” he said.
Mr Mupeyiwa accepted the State’s submissions and imposed the three-year term of imprisonment.
The man, who is facing a rape charge, had been remanded in custody after regional magistrate Ms Loice Mukunyadzi ruled that the State had proved a prima-facie case against him.
The magistrate remanded him in custody to August 17 for the defence case.
As the prison was taking him to the holding cells, he could not stomach it.
There was pandemonium when he suddenly bolted from the dock while the prison officer was unlocking the door to the holding cells.
He dashed along the passage between the galleries, kicked the exit door and sped towards the gate heading for nearby bushes.
He was only apprehended some 200 metres away from the courts.
The man will be back in court tommorow (August 17) for the defence case in the rape case.