A 21-YEAR-OLD Lusaka man has been sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labour for stealing a phone from a woman of Chibolya Compound, using violence.

The robbery occured around 03:00 hours as the said women was coming out of the toilet.

Michael Kayelu was initially charged with aggravated robbery but the same was reduced to robbery.

He pleaded guilty to the charge of robbery before High Court Judge Sharon Newa.

Facts in this matter are that on November 5, last year, around 03:00 hours, the complainant Annie Shamutete was at her house in Chibolya Compound and decided to go to the toilet.

As she was coming out of the toilet, she was attacked by Kayelu who stood in front of her and held her neck.

Shamutete shouted for help but Kayelu hit her on her back, got her phone and ran away.

He was, however, apprehended by members of public who took him to Chibolya police post.

In mitigation, Kayelu, through his lawyer Jonas Matende from Legal Aid Board, said he regretted his actions, adding that since his arrest, he has had time to reflect on his actions.

He vowed to walk a straight path before the law if the court granted him that opportunity.

“The now convict is just 21 years old and as such he has room to reform having now learnt that crime does not pay,” the lawyer said.

Passing sentence, Judge Newa said she had considered Kayelu’s mitigation and noted that he was a first time offender.

She further said she had considered that the accused was youthful in age, therefore had room to reform.

Judge Newa sentenced Kayelu to three years imprisonment with hard labour.