The General Court Martial sitting in Makindye has sentenced a man to 20 years imprisonment after being found guilty of putting a boda boda rider on gunpoint and robbed his motorbike.
Godfrey Batalingaya, 36 was being accused together with Abdul Hakim Katamba and others still at large for using an SMG rifle number 563824554 which is said to be a monopoly of the Defense Forces contrary to section 3(1) and 2 (a) of the firearms act Cap 299.
On Tuesday, Batalingaya was sentenced upon his own plea of guilty on the charge of aggravated robbery after he admitted to the army court that on January 5, 2020 at Kibuku village in Kakumiro district, the group robbed a motor vehicle UED 954L Bajaj boxer belonging to Bruno Ainemukama.
Batalingaya told the army court chaired by Lt Gen Andrew Gutti that he is sorry for committing the offence and that he would never do it again.
“I pray for a lenient sentence since I am remorseful and ready to reform,”Batalingaya pleaded to the court.
However, the army prosecutor asked court for a long custodial sentence to deter others who would want to engage in similar activities.
Reading the sentence, Lt Gen Andrew Gutti said such offences have become rampant and the court needs to give a deterrent punishment.
“Whereas the offence is rampant, the convict readily pleaded guilty thus saving court’s time and resources. He is also remorseful. The sentence of 20 years is appropriate. The court will deduct two months and 10 days he has spent on remand and he will serve 19 years, nine months and 20 days in prison,”Gutti said.
He however advised Batalingaya to appeal against the decision in 14 days if he is not satisfied with the sentence.
However, Abdul Hakim Katamba who was being accused together with Batalingaya will face the full trial after denying the charges.