Republic v Monthy (45 of 2004 ) [2007] SCSC 120 (26 November 2007);







Criminal Side No. 45 of 2004


Mr. Chetty standing in for Mrs. Carollus the Republic

Mr. Derjacques for the Accused




Gaswaga, J


The accused was charged with the offence of arson contrary to and punishable under Section 318(a) of the Penal Code, Cap 158. The particulars of offence are that Kenneth Monthy of Anse Boileau, Mahe, on the 18th July, 2003 at Port Glaud, Mahe, willfully and unlawfully set fire to a house, the property of one Joseph Barra. He has now pleaded guilty to the said charge and his counsel moves the Court that the convict should be released today because he has saved the precious time of the Court. Further that he is remorseful, has spent a long time on remand which the counsel contends is already enough punishment in this case.


It was also averred that the structure which was destroyed by the fire was not a residential house but a shelter on a farm made out of wood and corrugated iron sheets and valued only at Rs. 18, 000/-.


It is noted from the medical report dated 16th July, 2007 that the convict is a known case to the psychiatric unit since August, 2002 who has had several admissions to the unit due to relapse of his illness as he is non-compliant to medication. He was diagnosed with schizophrenia and co-morbidity of Mental and Behavioural Disorder due to cannabinoids.


Mr. Derjacques further submitted in mitigation that the convict has suicidal tendencies and at times suffers from depression and on the material day he wished to kill himself and that is why he set fire onto that shed from where he was cooking food. That thereafter he ran away from the fire while laughing. The convict also has no family at all and does not even remember who his father is nor his mother.


Taking into consideration all the above factors and given that the convict is a first offender I shall sentence him to two years in prison.


However, the period he has spent on remand should count towards this sentence.


Right of appeal explained.






Dated this 26th day of November, 2007