A TEENAGER was yesterday jailed three years after he pleaded guilty to robbing a Judicial Service Commission (JSC) employee using a toy gun.
Brighton Ngwenya (19) pleaded guilty when he appeared before Harare magistrate, Ngoni Nduna, charged with robbery.
The complainant is Tanyaradzwa Muzenda, who is employed as a JSC professional research assistant.
In passing the sentence, magistrate Nduna said while the complainant was not physically harmed, the mental trauma caused by the robbery cannot be over emphasised.
He, however, added that while the usual sentence for armed robbery is seven years and above, he was moved to give a more lenient sentence since Ngwenya was a first offender.
He also pleaded guilty, without wasting the court’s time.
“Accused appeared before the court facing robbery charges and tendered a plea of guilty to the charge and was unrepresented.
“The court must take all factors into account before sentencing and would consider that, in the robbery, various legal interests of the victim may have been violated by the offender, that is the right to human dignity, privacy and right to property.
“Because of the abnormal increase in robbery cases, they must now be treated as serious offences and the sentence must reflect the seriousness of the offence.
“He’s a first offender and members of the public were sobbing during mitigation.
“He is also a young offender aged 19-years-old, he pleaded guilty and did not raise flimsy defence hence no resources were wasted and it was expeditiously executed so he deserves lenience.
“Property stolen was recovered, had they not been recovered, sentence would have been up to seven years, the complainant wasn’t physically harmed but the mental trauma can not be overemphasised,” he said.
Ngwenya was sentenced to five years in prison, two of which were suspended on condition that he doesn’t commit a similar offence in the next five years.
Three years are effective.
The court heard that on July 8 this year, Muzenda drove to Sam Levy’s Village to do her shopping.
When she returned to her car, after 20 minutes, and as she was about to drive off, Ngwenya jumped into her car and produced the toy gun.
He went on to demand her phone, which she surrendered to him.
He ordered her to remove the password before ordering her to drive off to Pomona Shopping Centre.
As Muzenda was preparing to make a police report, the next day, she discovered that Ngwenya had left his phone in her car.
They used the phone to track him.
At his house, they recovered the stolen phone and the toy gun, leading to his arrest.