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Man Jailed Four Years over Theft Days after Leaving Prison

State Prosecutor Gertrude Nyipir told the court that on 6 February 2021, Ouma and others still at large broke into a house in Apollo grounds in Kitgum Municipality belonging to Stephen Patrick Lokoya at about 8 pm.
Some of the suspects remanded to Prison leave Kitgum Magistrate court room on Friday.
A 22-year-old man who had just finished serving a two years Jail sentence over theft has been sent back to jail for four years over the same offence, barely a month after being released from Kitgum Government Prison.

Benson Ouma, a resident of Kitgum Municipality pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and burglary before the Kitgum Grade One Magistrate Derrick Akera Otim during the sentencing hearing on Friday.

State Prosecutor Gertrude Nyipir told the court that on 6 February 2021, Ouma and others still at large broke into a house in Apollo grounds in Kitgum Municipality belonging to Stephen Patrick Lokoya at about 8 pm.

Nyipir notes that the convict and others still at large stole a mobile phone Techno brand, and 10,000 shillings’ cash, seven boxes of Teju Juice, a DFCU Bank ATM Card, and an AVSI organization Identity Card, all valued at approximately 760,000 Shillings. 

She however says that the suspect was later arrested after being sighted and identified by a security officer but none of the stolen items was recovered.

The State also contends that the convict had just been released three days earlier from prison before committing the same crime in which he served two years jail sentence at Kitgum Government Prison.

Nyipir asked the court to give a deterrent sentence to the convict since he is a habitual thug in the community.

Although the convict pleaded for leniency, the Magistrate noted the crimes of theft and burglary were serious offences that carry a maximum of 10 years’ prison sentence.

He also noted that the convict had not learned any lesson from his experience of being behind bars for three years previously over committing the same crime.

“The nature of the case is quite serious, you also have a record of serious conviction, you have just been released from prison after serving two years, and you came out and immediately engaged in crimes which mean you didn’t learn. After your release, you should have evaluated your life” Otim told the convict while passing his judgment.

The magistrate convicted Ouma on his plea of guilt and consequently sentenced him to serve two years consecutively on two counts of theft and burglary at Kitgum Government Prison.

“Considering all the factors you are sentenced to 24 months in prison with respect to each count. The sentences to each count will be served consecutively,” Otim ruled.

The same court also convicted and sentenced two men to serve eight months in prison over theft of clothes valued at shillings 700,000.

Ronald Ochola and Cosmas Apire all residents of Kitgum Municipality pleaded guilty to theft of clothes in Gangdyang cells in Kitgum Municipality on February 5th, 2021.

The convicts got a reduced sentenced for not wasting the time of the court, being first-time offenders, and their plea for leniency since they are parents with sole responsibilities.

Meanwhile, six suspects who appeared before the same court charged with carrying out illegal logging and charcoal burning in Lamwo District have been remanded to Kitgum Government Prison.

The suspects were arrested during a covert operation conducted by the Environmental Protection Police Unit-EPPU over the weekend in Lamwo District.

They are Jowalu Muchungwa 58, Yowasi Kisajaki 45, Misaki Manwerere 37, Moses Mukandwe 46, Emma Mwai 20 and 25-year-old Kalulu Wan.

The magistrate remanded the suspects till March 3rd, 2021 since the court lacked a translator to read the charges to them in Lusoga language.

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