HARARE – A regional magistrate has sentenced an armed robber who stormed CABS Bank Mt Pleasant branch brandishing a pistol and attacked the security guard to 18 months in prison because he showed remorse and was a family man.
Brian Mugota, 41, of Marlborough in Harare will serve an effective 11 months in jail after being convicted of assault and contravening the Firearms Act.
“I have not lost sight that although the accused person has been acquitted of attempted robbery the competent verdict of a charge of assault is equally a serious offence,” regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa ruled yesterday.
“The convicted person is a family man and pleaded guilty to the second count thereby showing his remorse. However, he went into a public place with an unlicensed firearm and used it to seriously injure the complainant.”
Mugota was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment on the first count before seven were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
He got 10 months for unlawfully possessing a gun and four months were suspended.
The sentences will run concurrently entailing that Mugota will serve an effective 11 months.
The complainant was Percy Redge Motsi, 42, of Glen Norah A in Harare.
He is employed by Professional Security and was deployed at CABS Mt Pleasant branch.
Prosecutor Tinashe Makiya proved that on January 12 around 3pm, Mugota armed himself with a pistol and went to CABS in Mt Pleasant.
He arrived just before close of business and purported to make enquiries about an unidentified dormant account.
The court heard that Mugota went to the self-service desk where Motsi stood and asked for deposit slips in a bid to draw his attention.
Mugota pretended to fill the deposit slip while waiting for all the clients to clear from the banking hall.
He then drew a pistol from his bag and pointed it at Motsi before ordering him to surrender his service pistol.
The court heard that Mugota wrestled and overpowered the security guard after he refused to comply with his orders.
Mugota then held his pistol by the muzzle in his right hand while grabbing Motsi by the collar.
The court heard that Mugota struck five heavy blows on Motsi’s head using the butt of his pistol and he fell on his back, facing upwards.
Motsi became unconscious and Mugota stormed into the cash vault room and pointed the pistol at Andrew Jena, ordering him to surrender the safe keys.
But before Mugota could take anything, he noticed a bank employee Matthew Fombe standing at the main entrance of the banking hall and panicked.
He immediately abandoned the robbery, took his bag and walked to the main door intending to force his way out.
The bank doors had been locked and Mugota turned the pistol on Jena and two other employees, threatening to shoot if they did not allow him out.
The court heard that the doors were opened and Mugota fled from the scene.
Motsi was rushed to Avenues Clinic and was diagnosed with a depressed fracture of the skull and multiple lacerations of the scalp.
Mugota was arrested on January 13 and found in possession of a 7.62 mm Tokarev pistol which he used to commit the offence.