“YOU are a senior citizen who must not be proud of stealing but must be resting at home,” a court in Kasama has told a 74-year-old grandfather jailed for stealing three bicycles from his neighbours.
Kasama magistrate Kelvin Soma sentenced Alex Mwelwa to one-year imprisonment for each bicycle stolen.
It emerged in court that Mwelwa was a previous offender recently released from prison for another offence.
Mwelwa, a general worker, admitted stealing the three bicycles belonging to three different individuals of Chisanga Village in Kasama.
According to particulars of the case, in count one, Mwelwa on January 30, 2014 stole one bicycle worth K750 belonging to Darius Kapepa.
In the second and third counts, Mwelwa was accused of stealing two bicycles on February 16 and 18, 2014, belonging to Crystos Chisunga and Julias Mulenga both valued at K1,300.
Mwelwa pleaded for leniency because he was a family man.
The magistrate, however, said even though Mwelwa was an old man entitled to mercy, he was not showing signs of reform since he was recently in jail.
“You are a senior citizen who must not be proud of stealing but must be resting at home. This court is aware that you were recently sentenced by another court and it’s now clear that you don’t want to change, therefore, a custodial sentence is inescapable in this case,” Mr Soma said.
He described Mwelwa as a danger to society who had cultivated a culture of stealing and needed a custodial sentence for him to reflect on his deeds.
“I, therefore, sentence you to 12 months simple imprisonment for each count. The sentences will run concurrently,” he said.
Meanwhile, the court recorded a not guilty plea in a matter in which a 32-year-old man of Chilubula area in Kasama was accused of stealing eggs.
According to the particulars of the offence, Cephas Chileshe on March 8, 2014, broke into the residence of Mutale Mfula and stole 11 eggs and a packet of sugar, all valued at K18.
Chileshe admitted the charge but said he was forced to steal from Mfula because he was owed money from some work he did for the complainant.
The magistrate entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Chileshe because of his contradictory behaviour and adjourned the matter to March 18 for mention and March28, 2014 for trial.
Chileshe was remanded in police custody.