A notorious thief who robbed a city foreign currency dealer of his $1 435 stunned the magistrate courts when he went down on his knees in the dock, read the bible and said Jesus wanted people to forgive each other and pleaded that the same be applied to him.

Tafadzwa Mudambi, 30, said this when he was about to be sentenced by a Masvingo Magistrate Victor Mahamad for robbing Kenta Baye of his$1 435 and R 550.

When Mudambi was asked to plead he admitted to the charge, pulled out a bible, read Mathew 18 verses 21-22 and pleaded for mercy.

Prosecutor James Murambiza pleaded with the court to have Mudambi given a deterrent sentence to protect members of the public from people of his calibre and noted that Mudambi had a string of other pending court cases involving robbery.

However, Mudambi’s gospel could not move the Magistrate either as he sentenced the habitual criminal to three years imprisonment.

The court heard how Mudambi approached Baye under the pretext that he wanted to know the day’s exchange rate as he wanted to convert his US dollars into South African rand before producing a knife and threatened Baye with death if he refused to surrender his money.

After the robbery Mudambi disappeared from the scene and a police report was made.

He was arrested a few days later while trying to rob another foreign currency dealer using the same tactic.

Baye positively identified Mudambi as he was being whisked to Masvingo central police station.