Court name
High Court
Case number
CRIMINAL 25 of 2007

S v Wadeinge (Review Judgment) (CRIMINAL 25 of 2007) [2007] NAHC 2 (20 February 2007);

Media neutral citation
[2007] NAHC 2
Parker J
Manyarara AJ





[1] The accused was convicted on her guilty plea to housebreaking with intent to steal and theft. She was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment.

[2] In response to a query as to why an effective imprisonment of three years’ was imposed, the learned magistrate states that she took into account the following factors: the accused pleaded guilty, she is a first offender and the value of the things stolen is N$425,50. In addition, she says, she took into account the following considerations, namely, the prevalence of the offence in Namibia and the interest of society. She also states that two years’ imprisonment “is appropriate in the circumstances”, yet she imposed a sentence of three years’ imprisonment.


[3] It is trite that sentencing is within the domain of the trial court; however, a reviewing or an appeal court may interfere with the sentence imposed if it induces a sense of shock in the latter court. It induces in me a great sense of shock that the learned magistrate imposed a direct imprisonment of three years, if regard is had to the following: (1) the accused person pleaded guilty, which in itself shows her sense of remorse; (2) the accused person is a first offender; and (3) the smallness of the value of the items stolen. More important, in her judgment, the learned magistrate did not say a word as to why she imposed a sentence of direct three years’ imprisonment. For these reasons, I am of the view that a sentence of three years’ imprisonment is not appropriate in the circumstances.

[4] In the result, I make the following orders:

(1)      The conviction is confirmed.
(2)      The sentence is set aside and the following is put in its place:
Nine months’ imprisonment, six months of which are suspended for
three years on condition that the accused is not convicted of theft
committed during the period of suspension.



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