Uganda v Mugenyi (Criminal Session Case No. 14/91) [1991] UGHCCRD 2 (5 July 1991)

Criminal law|Evidence Law
Case summary
The trial judge considered whether the ingredients/elements of the offence of aggravated robbery had been made out. These ingredients were; theft, threat or use of violence and the threatening or use of a deadly weapon. The trial judge held that there had been no theft since the complainant’s bicycle was in fact never taken/stolen. It had been left at the scene of the alleged crime, most likely on account of how old it was. As there had been no theft, the offences of robbery and aggravated robbery could not be made out. The trial judge distinguished these facts from a possible case where the bicycle would have been stolen and then later abandoned. In this case, it was never stolen. It was also held that the evidence did not prove the threat of or use of violence in the encounter between the complainant and the alleged robbers. Furthermore, prosecution had failed to prove the threat or use of an actual gun by the accused as the witnesses contradicted themselves on the nature of the weapon that the accused had allegedly wielded, that is to say on whether it was a pistol, a large gun or a large metal. Regarding the circumstances, the trial judge found it unlikely that an actual gun had been wielded and relied on the rule that prosecution must prove that an actual gun, and not just a mere toy, was involved. The trial judge finally held that the offence charged was not properly made out and no other similar crime had been committed either. Consequently, the accused was acquitted.

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