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14-year-old sentenced to seven years in juvenile detention

’Mantoetse Maama

MASERU — A 14-year-old boy will spend the next seven years at the Juvenile Training Centre after he was convicted for stealing a cell phone, bicycle and a computer memory stick. The court fined him M10 000 which he failed to pay and was sent straight to the Juvenile Training Centre on Monday. The boy, whose name the paper has withheld because he is a minor, stole a mountain bike, cell phone and a two gigabyte memory stick from a neighbour in Ha-Abia in November last year.

The crown said the teenager broke into the neighbour’s house with the sole intention to steal. All the missing items were found in his possession, the court heard. When he was asked to raise the M10 000 fine, the boy failed leading to the court to send him to the juvenile centre. One of his sisters helped the police recover the stolen items. Procedures were conducted in Sesotho language to enable him to understand fully court deliberations.

The court ruled that he must spend a long time at the Juvenile Training Centre to enable him to attend school until he completes secondary education and obtain a Cambridge Overseas School Certificate. The court heard that the boy had only attended school up to Standard Four. He is expected to immediately resume his studies in Standard Five.

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