THREE men from Bulawayo who assaulted a man before robbing him of his cellphone and R10 were lucky to escape jail agony when they were each sentenced to perform 280 hours of unpaid labour.
Mongameli Nkomazana (23), Stephen Ndlovu (23) and Qedamandla Ndlovu (29) appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Musaiona Shotgame charged with assault and robbery.
They all pleaded guilty to both counts and each was sentenced to 12 months in jail.
However, the magistrate suspended four months from each sentence on condition that they will not commit similar crime within a period of five years.
The court further suspended eight months on condition that they each perform 280 hours of community service.
Nkomazana will render his unpaid service at ZRP Barbourfields, Stephen at Pumula Police Station and Qedamandla at Mzilikazi Police Station.
The court heard that the trio ambushed Mlamuli Ncube of Burombo Flats in Bulawayo near a drinking spot which is a few metres from his home.
When he got out heading home they struck him with an iron rod on the head before they punched him several times on the face.
He fell to the ground and collapsed.
While he was lying on the ground they searched him and took his cellphone and R10.
They fled from the scene. Ncube was picked up by a Good Samaritan who rushed him to Mpilo Central Hospital.
The incident was reported to the police and investigations led to the arrest of the trio.