A 75-YEAR-OLD Colleen Bawn man has been fined $1 500 for stealing two bicycles from his neighbour and barbed wire from a nearby farm.
Hassan Phiri was convicted on his own plea of guilty to theft by Gwanda magistrate, Miss Lerato Nyathi.
He was ordered to have paid the $1 500 fine by October 30 or risk being jailed for two months in case of default. In addition, he was sentenced to five months imprisonment which was wholly suspended on condition that he does not commit a similar offence within the next five years.
Prosecuting, Mr Noel Mandebvu said Phiri stole two bicycles from his neighbours as well as barbed wire from Bromley Farm in Collen Bawn in May.
“On 13 May at around 9PM Mr Foster Hlongwane retired to bed and left his bicycle parked by the verandah. On the following day at around 5AM his wife got up to sweep the yard and she noticed that the bicycle was missing and informed her husband. Mr Hlongwane tried to check the footprints of the accused person but couldn’t find any,” he said.
“Later during that month Mr Hlongwane heard that the police had found some bicycles at the accused person’s homestead while they were investigating another case of theft of a bicycle. On 31 May at around 10AM Mr Hlongwane then proceeded to the accused person’s homestead with the police to identify his bicycle and he found it. The bicycle is worth US$100.”
Mr Mandebvu said under the second count on May 28 at around 8PM the complainant Mr Mbuso Moyo went to visit his relatives who live close to Phiri and left his bicycle unsecured in the yard. He said at around 10PM the complainant decided to go back to his home and discovered that his bicycle was missing from where he had left it.
Mr Mandebvu said the following day at around 6AM the complainant with the assistance of neighbourhood watch committee members and some villagers tracked the bicycle tyre marks which led to them to Phiri’s homestead where they found the missing bicycle in the accused person’s field. He said the matter was reported to the police resulting in the arrest of the accused person. The value of the stolen bicycle is R2 000.
“Sometime during the period between the year 2018 and 29 May 2020 Phiri proceeded to Bromley Farm in Colleen Bawn and stole three rolls of barbed wire which had been used to fence the farm and took it to his homestead. On 29 May at around 6AM police who were investigating a case of theft of a bicycle arrived at Phiri’s homestead and found three rolls of barbed wire.
“Police carried out investigations which later revealed that Phiri had stolen the barbed wire from Bromley Farm leading to his arrest. The value of the stolen barbed wire is R1 000,” he said.