A ram has been sentenced to three years in jail after it was convicted of killing a woman.
The baffling sentence was passed by a court in Rumbek, capital of the Lakes State in South Sudan.
The ram, officials say, will serve its time in a tough military prison.
Rumbek police arrested the ram in Maleng Agok Payam after it repeatedly butted the woman, named as 45-year-old Adhieu Chaping.
She later died after suffering severe chest injuries, a court heard.
Witnesses said the woman had been struck in the chest several times sustaining massive damage to her ribs.
She died on the spot before rescuers could get to the scene.
Local police spokesman Major Elijah Mabor Makuach said: “The sheep was apprehended and was placed in police custody.”
Quizzed as to why it was appropriate to arrest a sheep, he replied: “Our role as a road safety for the population and to separate fights.”
Local media reported that the ram’s owner Duony Manyang Dhal, was ordered to pay compensation of five cows to the victim’s family as compensation.
Police, though, had said following the arrest that they believed that the owner played no part in his sheep’s guilty misconduct.
Major Mabor had said: “The owner is innocent and the ram is the one who perpetrated the crime so it deserves to be arrested then later on the case shall be forwarded to customary court where the case can be handed amicably.”
A report by police confirmed it had been the right thing to do to arrest the sheep given the strong evidence that it was responsible for the death of the woman.
After the local court issued its verdict, it was confirmed that the sheep would be sent to serve the three-year sentence in a military camp nearby in the Lakes State.
The unlucky ram may not be looking forward to its eventual release after three years, however.
Any domesticated animal that kills a person is customarily given to the family of the victim.
It is understood that the owner of the ram and the family of the victim live next to each other and are related, and apparently signed a contract accepting the verdict and the new ownership of the ram after the three-year sentence is complete.
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