WOMAN SENTENCED TO TEN YEARS DIRECT IMPRISONMENT FOR THEFT.

13 DECEMBER 2021 - The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa

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WOMAN SENTENCED TEN YEARS

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The Pretoria North Regional Court sentenced Desiree Williams (57), originally from Cape Town, to 10 years imprisonment for theft. Williams was convicted of theft of items amounting to R798.40 from Cotton-On retail store on 25 October 2021. Williams confessed and pleaded guilty in court to the charge of theft. She told the court that on 25 September 2021 she went to Cotton-On in Montana and intentionally stole two pairs of leggings valued at R798.40.

After checking if they fit her in the fitting room, she put them in her bag intending to leave the store without paying for them. When she was walking out the door, the store manager stopped her and called her to the back office and searched her bag. The items were found and police were called and Williams was arrested and has been in custody since.

The prosecutor Rabia Ebrahim told the court that it was in the interest of society to impose a harsh sentence as Williams continues to commit the same offence since 1981 and no sentence has rehabilitated or deterred her. She told the court that Williams has 34 previous convictions for theft, 29 of those are older than 10 years while 5 are between 2011 and 2020 and she is still awaiting trial for 31 pending cases.

Therefore, if the court gives her a lenient sentence, chances are she will commit the same offence again. The prosecutor further asked the court to declare Williams a habitual criminal in terms of Section 286 of the Criminal Procedure Act.

However, the court warned Williams that should she be convicted of another offence she may be declared a habitual criminal. The National Prosecuting Authority welcomes the sentence and is thankful for the work and dedication by the investigating officer of the Sinoville Police Station in gathering evidence that led to the conviction and sentencing.

Issued by: Lumka Mahanjana NPA North Gauteng Regional Spokesperson: Gauteng Division Pretoria


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