It’s the kind of farcical scenario you’d likely only ever encounter in a movie, except for the fact that it happened in real life: A sheep has been sentenced to jail for three years after he was found guilty of killing a woman.
The murder is believed to have taken place in South Sudan, North Africa, after a ram attacked and killed local woman, Adhieu Chaping, 45, whose injuries were too severe to be treated.
It is understood these injuries included serious damage to her ribs, and while the woman tried to stand up mid-fight, the malicious animal continued to strike the woman.
Following the incident, which took place in May 2022, the malevolent sheep was taken into police custody in South Sudan and requested to appear before a customary court upon the investigation completing.
Addressing the sheep’s crime, local police spokesperson, Elijah Mabor Makuach, said explained the situation.
“The incident occurred on Sunday in Maleng Agok Payam of Rumbek East County,” Major Mabor said.
“The ram attacked by hitting her ribs and the old woman died immediately.
“So, this is what happened in Rumbek East in a place called Akuel Yol.”
Major Mabor Explains Exactly Why Notorious Sheep Was Apprehended
Asked why the killer sheep was apprehended for his crime, Major Mabor explained that the role of his police officers is to “provide safety” to the community.
“Our role as police is to provide safety and separate fights,” Major Mabor said.
“The ram was apprehended and currently under custody at a Police Station of Maleng Agok Payam.”
Major Mabor went on to explain that the ram was arrested for his actions.
“The owner is innocent and the ram is the one who perpetrated the crime so it deserves to be arrested,” he said.
“Then later on the case shall be forwarded to customary court where the case can be handed amicably.”
It is understood the animal will now spend the next three years in a military camp in Aduel County headquarters, situated in Sudan’s Lakes State.
It is unknown whether the killer sheep has since expressed remorse for his crime.
Some may argue that only time wool tell.
Meanwhile, a local court in the town of Rumbek has also ruled that the owner of the ram, Duony Manyang Dhal, will have to bestow five cows to the victim’s family as compensation.
According to County administrator, Paul Adhong Majak, the owner of the ram and the victim’s family are related and neighbours.
Additionally, after the criminal animal finishes his jail sentence, he will also be gifted to the family in accordance with local Sudanese law.
This condition was carried out in a formal agreement with the police, where both families were made to sign a contract before community leaders who acted as witnesses.
Murder Charges in New South Wales
In most countries, the realms of criminal law do not apply to animals.
However, as most would assume, it’s a very different story for people.
As far as the crime of murder is concerned, an offence is said to take place where the accused voluntarily does something to another, which causes the death of the alleged victim, where the accused, at the time, does so with reckless indifference to human life, or with intention to kill the person or inflict grievous bodily harm.
The wrongdoing is considered amongst the most evil, and to send this message, the toughest penalties are in place.
Under imprisonment for life for a murder offence, a person is required to serve out that sentence for the term of the person’s natural life.
It is worth noting that whether a life jail sentence is handed down to the convicted murderer is at the discretion of the NSW Court.
Where the court determines that a life imprisonment is not warranted against a convicted murderer, the court must order a parole and non-parole period of imprisonment.
Defences to the charge of murder include self-defence, mental illness and involuntary conduct.
By Sahar Adatia.