A new report by the judiciary has shed light on the most prevalent crimes reported to the courts of law between June 2022 and June 2023. Released this month, the report provides details on various developments and key statistics that characterised the judicial sector of the country in the period of the past 12 months. ALSO READ: RIB explains reason behind rise in crime statistics According to the report, here are the most common criminal cases reported to courts: 1. Intentional assault or battery - 18,716 cases With a total of 18,716, intentional assault or battery came as number one on the list of the most common criminal cases in Rwandan courts between June 2022 and June 2023. Rwandan law says intentional assault or battery involves wilful beating, injuring, or committing serious violence against a person. If a person is convicted of such, they can be punished with imprisonment for a term between three to five years and slapped with a fine between Rwf 500,000 and Rwf 1,000,000. In a scenario when the offence is committed against a child, a parent, a spouse, or a person unable to protect themselves, the convict is liable to imprisonment for a term between five years and eight years and a fine between Rwf 1,000,000 and Rwf 2,000,000. If assault or battery caused illness or non-permanent incapacity to work, the penalty is imprisonment for a term of between 10 to 15 years. The same penalty is applied when the crime was premeditated or involved ambush. 2. Aggravated theft - 12,115 cases Theft characterised by aggravating circumstances came in second position. According to the penal code, this kind of theft is committed mostly through burglary. It is carried out in an occupied house or in a building used for habitation or in its surroundings during the night, by more than one person. Upon conviction, the offender is punished with an imprisonment term that ranges between two and four years. 3. Petty theft - 9,979 cases Petty theft involves taking another person’s property and making it your own without the owner’s consent. Some 9,979 cases were reported to courts between June 2022 and 2023. Any individual found guilty of theft is subject to imprisonment for a period ranging from one to two years and a fine ranging from Rwf 1,000,000 to Rwf 2,000,000, and community service for a period of six months, “or only one of these penalties.” ALSO READ: 2023 has highest crime rate in five years – Minister 4. Acts related to the use of narcotic drugs or psychotropic substances - 5,834 Crimes related to eating, drinking, inhaling, injecting, or anointing oneself with psychotropic substances, or unlawfully producing, transforming, transporting, storing, or selling such, were 5,834 cases in courts between 2022 and 2023. A person convicted of consumption of psychotropic substances is liable to imprisonment for a term between one to two years or community service. For those involved in activities like production, transformation, and transportation of such products, the penalty can range between 20 years to life imprisonment. 5. Defilement - 4,933 cases Up to 4,933 cases of defilement were reported to courts of law between June 2022 and June 2023. The crime is punishable by imprisonment for a duration of 20 to 25 years. In the event that the crime is committed against a child who is under the age of 14, the penalty is life imprisonment, which cannot be reduced under any circumstances. ALSO READ: Life imprisonment reduction sparks intense House debate 6. Use of threats - 4,679 cases Up to 4,679 cases where people used threats with intent to harm others were reported to courts between June 2022 and June 2023. The law says such threats may be verbal, gestures, images or in writing. Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term between one to two years and a fine that ranges between Rwf 300,000 and Rwf 500,000. If such threats are accompanied by duress or are carried out by the imposition of some conditions on the victim, or depriving them of property, the penalty is imprisonment for a term between two to three years and a fine of between Rwf 2,000,000 to Rwf 3,000,000. 7. Breach of trust - 3,605 cases Cases involving the misappropriation, embezzlement, scattering, or illegal transfer of items entrusted to a person were 3,605 in the courts of law between June 2022 and June 2023. Upon conviction, the offender may be sentenced to imprisonment for a period ranging from three to five years. 8. Harassment of a spouse - 3,356 cases Up to 3,356 cases related to the harassment of a spouse with the intention of preventing them from living a peaceful life were reported to the courts in the 2022/2023 judicial year. Upon conviction, the offender is sentenced to a term of imprisonment ranging from one to two years. 9. Theft with violence or threats - 3,257 cases Violent theft that involves physical harm to the victims had some 3,257 cases reported to courts. It is punishable with an imprisonment term that ranges between five to seven years. If it results in illness or temporary loss of work, it is punishable with imprisonment of a term between seven to 10 years. If it results in an incurable illness or permanent loss of working capacity or a body organ, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term between 10 to 15 years. If the violence or threats are used with no intent to cause death but result in death, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term between 20 to 25 years. 10. Unintentional bodily harm - 2,285 cases Cases involving causing bodily harm to another person through carelessness, inattention, negligence, lack of precaution, and foresight were 2,285 in the courts. Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of between three to six months and a fine of between Rwf 500,000 to Rwf 1,000,000.