The court of appeal has reduced the death sentence of murder convict Tshabu Benos to twenty (20) years simple imprisonment.
According to the court, they were some extenuating circumstances that prompted Ms. Benos to kill her boyfriend, Auto Force Proprietor Reeves Malambo.
Ms Benos, who was sentenced to death by the Lusaka High Court, filed a notice of intention to appeal that decision in the Court of Appeal.
Benos had appealed on grounds the learned trial judge erred in law and in fact when she convicted her without due regard to the evidence of other witnesses who were present at her house.
She stated that the learned trial judge erred in law and in fact when she failed to consider her evidence which was reasonably possible.
“The learned trial judge erred in law and fact when she convicted her without due regard to the evidence of other witnesses who were present at her house. The learned trial judge erred in law and fact when she sentenced her to death without considering that there was extenuating circumstances as clearly shown from the three failed defences. The learned trial judge erred in law and fact when she failed to consider her evidence which was reasonably possible,” read the notice.
Judge Gertrude Chawatama had convicted and sentenced Benos for murdering her lover Reeves Malambo.
During her trail, Benos had asked the court to find her guilty of manslaughter only and not murder saying she had killed out of provocation.
She said she had stabbed Malambo with the intention of protecting herself from severe injuries having being roughly and brutally treated by the deceased.
However, the state had argued that Beno’s account of events was an afterthought and therefore, should be convicted of murder.
And passing judgement, justice Chawatama had dismissed Benos’ defence of intoxication, provocation and self defence.
She established that the three defence witnesses, who were relatives of the accused, had lied because their testimonies were not consistent.
Judge Chawatama relied on Tamara’s testimony, Beno’s maid, saying the witness had no reason to lie.
“If the accused was in grave danger, she would have retreated. And there is no evidence to suggest that the accused was in any danger. Retreat is necessary. The prosecution relied on the evidence of Tamara, I agreed with the prosecution that Tamara did not have the motive to give false evidence. She did testify that she heard the accused say “it is too much of you Reeves beating me so now I will kill you”. Tamara did not have an interest, or any reason to lie. Hence the defence of self defence is not available to the accused,” she said.
And passing judgement, justice Chawatama ruled that Benos killed the deceased with malice aforethought and thereby sentenced her to death by hanging.