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Nyoni v People (S.C.Z. Judgment 15 of 1987)  ZMSC 22 (13 July 1987);
STEVEN NYONI v THE PEOPLE (1987) Z.R. 99 (S.C.)
|SUPREME COURTNGULUBE, D.C.J., GARDNER AND SAKALA, JJ.S.14TH JULY, 1987(S.C.Z. JUDGMENT NO. 15 OF 1987)|
|Criminal Law and Procedure - Juvenile - Trial - Accused no longer a juvenile.
Sentence - Juvenile - Accused juvenile at time of offence - Trial and sentence of.
|The appellant was convicted by the High Court for the offence of aggravated robbery and sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment with hard labour. The offence was committed when he was a juvenile. At the commencement of the hearing before the High Court He appellant was no longer a juvenile. The appellant appeared against the conviction and sentence for not having been treated as a juvenile for the purpose of trial in a juvenile's court and his not having been sentenced accordingly.
A person who is no longer a juvenile who had committed an offence when he was a juvenile should be tried as an adult in the appropriate court; but for the purpose of sentencing he should be treated as a juvenile.
(1)Musonda and Anor v The People (1976) Z.R. 218
For the appellant:C.P.Sakala, Acting Director of Legal Aid,
For the respondent:K.G.Chanda, Senior State Advocate
|GARDNER,J.S.: delivered the judgment of the court.
This is an appeal against the conviction and sentence of the appellant for the offence of aggravated robbery for which he was sentenced to fifteen years imprisonment with hard labour. The particulars of the offence were that he, together with another, on the 11th of April, 1984, at Lusaka, jointly whilst acting together, did steal venous items of clothing and personal property valued at K39 1.70, the property of Francis Kumwenda, and at the time of such stealing did use actual violence to the owner.
At the commencement of the hearing before the High Court Counsel on behalf of the appellant and his Accused informed the learned judge that the offenders were aged seventeen and sixteen years respectively. The learned trial judge ordered that both the accused persons be medically examined for the purpose of ascending their age. Accordingly they were examined and medical reports were submitted to the court that, in accordance with the bone formation of both of the accused, they were aged more than eighteen years. Medical certificates were on forms indicating that they were regularly used by medical officers for this purpose and the doctor who examined the men must have been familiar with the definition of a juvenile. The learned trial judge on receipt of the medical report said that he would accept the evidence contained therein and would treat each accused as being eighteen years of age. He then proceeded to try the case, as a result of which the co-accused was acquitted but the appellant was convicted as recited.
Mr Sakala, the learned acting Director of Legal Aid on behalf of the appellant at first appealed against the appellant not having been treated as a juvenile for the purpose of trial in a juvenile's court and his not having been sentenced accordingly. However, after arguments from both Mr Sakala on behalf of the appellant and Mr Chanda on behalf of the State, which were of great assistance to us, it was accepted by both counsel that, at the trial, the learned trial judge had misstated the age of the appellant according to the medical report. He should not have stated for the record that the appellant was eighteen years of age.