Inmate sentenced to 3 years for jailbreak at Bikita prison

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By Staff Reporter

An inmate, Davidson Nyandoro who was serving 10 months jail term was sentenced to three-year imprisonment after he escaped from custody.

Nyandoro was convicted after pleading guilty to jailbreak.

He was an inmate at Bikita Satellite Prison following a conviction of unlawful entry into a premises.

On the day in question, he took advantage of the opportunity afforded to him and other inmates to use the ablution facilities and escaped.

Although the prison officers gave chase they couldn’t catch him.

Present court papers were however silent on the circumstances of his arrest, nor do they disclose the duration of his ill-gotten freedom.

After he was rearrested and tried, Nyandoro was sentenced to 36 months’ imprisonment, 12 of which were suspended, leaving him to serve an effective 24-month prison term.

The matter was however automatically reviewed after the High Court of Masvingo noted that the penalty was too severe.

Justice Zisengwe sitting with Rodgers Manyangadze as an appeal court set aside the three-year jail term ruling that it was not supposed to be longer than the one he was serving before escaping.

“Although the offence of escaping from lawful custody is no doubt serious as it tends to undermine the overall criminal justice system, an effective prison term of 24 months’ imprisonment in circumstances such as the ones at hand is rather excessive and induces a sense of shock.

“This is particularly so if regard is had to the fact that the escape was not accompanied with the use of violence and that there was no damage to state infrastructure among other considerations.”

They ruled, “The sentence imposed is hereby set aside and substituted with the following: “18months’ imprisonment of which six months imprisonment is suspended for five years on condition that the accused does not within that period commit any offence involving escaping from lawful custody and for which upon conviction accused is sentenced to imprisonment without the option of a fine.”