Convicted thief avoids jail sentence

2015-08-19 09:48


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A WOMAN who stole, and later repaid, R38 800 from her employer, yesterday won her appeal against a prison sentence.

Judge Anton van Zyl, with Judge Thoba Poyo-Dlwati, ordered that the whole of the two-year sentence imposed on Samantha Aroomugam for her crime, committed during 2006 and 2007, be suspended.

They took into account that it had taken seven years for the appeal to be finalised because the court record was not typed, during which time Aroomugam had the threat of imprisonment hanging over her head. In addition, they said the trial magistrate (A. Harrison) had over-emphasised the need for retribution and deterrence, which resulted in her decision to sentence Aroomugam to two years in prison, with one year suspended.

Judge van Zyl said Aroomugam is a mother of two children. She also pleaded guilty and the facts accepted by the state were that she and her family were having financial problems at the time, which tempted her to commit the crime.

She had also taken out a loan and repaid all the money she stole from Lynton Hall Hotel on the South Coast.

At her trial, both the defence and prosecutor had agreed that a sentence of correctional supervision was suitable for her, but because seven years had since passed, this was no longer suitable.

At her trial Aroomugam said she handled cash which was used to buy stock for the hotel. Her family got into serious financial trouble owing to her undergoing a difficult pregnancy, and they were inundated with medical expenses

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  court

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