Held even if accused had no right to the animals it

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Held: Even if accused had no right to the animals, it would be defence that he had an honest belief based upon reasonable grounds that he had such a
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right. The trial magistrate erred in failing to consider this issue. The conviction was quashed. 272. Aniset Bonaventura v. R . Crim. App. 281-M-67; 23/6/67; Cross, J. Accused was convicted of theft by public servant (P.C. ss. 265, 270). The magi- strate found as a fact that he had formed animus furandi on the date he depo- sited a certain sum in his bank account, and also on the date his bank account was credited with another sum. Held : The English Larceny Act emphasizes animus furandi at the time of the taking and carrying away of the goods concerned. The Tanzania Penal Code, s. 258, however, like the Uganda Penal Code, is so worded that “the offence can be committed not necessarily at the time of taking and carrying away but even at any time subsequently thereafter depending …… on the circumstances.” Citing Bwire v. Uganda (1965) E.A. 606, 610. Conviction upheld. 273. Jackson James v. R., Crim. App. 310-D-67; 22/6/67; Georges, C.J. Accused was convicted of possession of property suspected to have ( 1967) H.C.D. - 77 – Been stolen. (P.C. s.312). The facts stated were that when apprehended by the police he was in possession of a watch in suspicious circumstances. He was tak- en to the market place where he said he had picked up the watch, and a watch repairer produced a receipt identifying the owner of the watch. The owner was never traced. When at trial the charge was read to accused, he replied, “I picked it up in the market square.” This was recorded as a plea of guilty. Held: (1) (1) Section 312 of the Penal Code provides that any person who is charged in court with being in possession of property suspected to have been stolen “who shall not give an account to the satisfaction of such court of how he
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came by the same, is guilty of a misdemeanor.” A person is guilty of the offence only if he fails to give a satisfactory account to the court. Therefore, it would seem that he cannot plead guilty at the time the plea is taken because he has not at that time been given the opportunity to give such an account. In any event, on the facts of this case, it is clear that accused ’s reply could not be held to be a plea of guilty. (2) A conviction cannot be maintained under section 312 if the ar- ticles in question can be identified as the property of any known person. If the owner is identified, it is no longer a question can be identified as the property of any known person. If the owner is identified, it is no longer a question of suspi- cion, and the charge should be laid under a section of the Penal Code dealing with stealing or possession or receiving stolen property. Citing R. v. Msengi s/o Abdallah (1952) 1T.L. R. (R) 107; R. v. Shabani Saidi, 1.T.L.R. (R) 77. (3) The Criminal Procedure Code does not permit a conviction for stealing when a charge is laid under section 312, although the reverse can be done.
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  • Fall '17
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