Thieving teen wails uncontrollably in the dock after jail sentence passed

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

Hwange: AN unrepentant teenage thief caused a stir at the Hwange magistrate’s court recently when she was taken screaming and kicking from the dock after she had been slapped with a 10 month jail term for her crimes.

Court business was briefly halted as Emerly Mkiza (18) of 1294 Baghdad, Empumalanga township took to the dramatic reaction to her misfortune.

This happened after presiding magistrate Livard Philimon had ordered prison guards to drag her out of the dock as she could not accept her fate.

Mkiza continued wailing in the court’s holding cells with her screams being heard within the whole court building.

She had appeared in court charged with contempt of court after she defaulted in performing 350 hours of community service she had been slapped with last month.

Mkiza had been sentenced to 15 months in jail for a count of unlawful entry into premises, another of theft of trust property and five counts of theft.

The magistrate had spared her prison life on the grounds of her young age and that she was a first offender.

Five months of the sentence had been suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour while the remaining 10 months were set aside on condition that she completed 350 hours of community service at the Hwange magistrates’ courts.

She started the unpaid work on November 1 but stopped a few days later without giving an explanation.

Mkiza was then arrested for defaulting. Her excuse in court was that she suddenly fell ill and could not continue reporting for the unpaid work.

Court asked her to produce a medical report which she failed.

The magistrate was forced to slap her with the 10 months that had earlier been suspended as the court overturned its earlier community service decision.

Mkiza could not believe it and she broke down in the dock.

Prison guards had a tough time dragging her out of the dock as she wailed uncontrollably.

Prosecuting, Jamesina Makanza said Mkiza had stolen a number of items from different people between May and September this year.

She was arrested after one of the victims saw her wearing some of her clothes which she had stolen.