The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has ordered a 14-year-old boy of Chawama Compound to undergo counselling and rehabilitation for stealing a mountain bike worth K1,600.

The juvenile, who pleaded guilty to the offence, had told the Court that he stole the bike so that he could buy school shoes for himself after passing to grade 10.

This is the matter in which the 14-year-old juvenile was facing one count of theft.

Particulars of the offence were that the juvenile, on January 7, 2019, in Lusaka, stole one mountain bicycle valued at K1,600.

The matter came up before Magistrate Nsunge Chanda, Tuesday, for facts and sentencing.

Facts in this matter were that on the material day around 03:00 hours, the Neighbourhood Watch were conducting their patrols when they spotted two juveniles with the said bike near Chifundo Market in John Howard.

The other offender managed to escape, but they apprehended the juvenile.

Asked whether the facts were true, the juvenile offender replied in the affirmative.

In mitigation, the juvenile asked for leniency, saying he would never steal again.

“I will never steal again or come back here. It was because of group influence,” he said.

And when Magistrate Chanda asked the juvenile’s mother to say something because she was supposed to make sure that her child was in the house around 03:00 hours, the juvenile’s mother told the Court that on the material day, her son left home, saying he had gone to his auntie’s place.

She begged the Court to forgive her son, adding that she was not in support of what he did.

The juvenile’s mother further told the Court that she would buy shoes for his son the following day so that he could start going to school.

And in her ruling, Magistrate Chanda ordered that the juvenile offender goes for counselling and rehabilitation.

She told the boy to start thinking straight and stop stealing.

“The offence is a serious offence, which attracts five years. If you are able to pass grade nine and you stop school and start stealing, are you being fair to yourself? Start thinking straight. If you love your mother it will help you not to commit the offence. If you can wake up to steal at 03:00, meaning you have been stealing so you should stop,” said Magistrate Chanda, who further ordered his mother to monitor his movements.