|CULLINAN, AG. J.S.: delivered the judgment of the Court. The appellant was convicted of theft of a motor vehicle. When called upon to plead he stated:
I understand the charge. I admit the charge. I stole the motor vehicle in question.
The authorities indicating that a magistrate must satisfy himself and record that an accused person understands and admits each and every ingredient of an offence are legion. For example, in the case of the People v Zulu (1), Dennison, J., considered that the admission Yes, I stole was far from an unequivocal plea of guilty to the of fence of burglary and theft. For that matter we do not consider that the words I stole constitute an unequivocal plea of guilty to the offence of theft, even where an accused person, as in this case, also states that he understands the charge and admits the offence. The plea in this case was plainly equivocal, a matter which was exemplified by the contend of social welfare reports which indicated that the appellant and his two juvenile co-accused had taken the vehicle for a joy-ride. We consider indeed that the appropriate charge in this case would have been one of taking and driving away a motor vehicle without the owner's consent contrary to section 229 of the Roads and Road Traffic Act, Cap. 766.
In any event the proceedings, based on an equivocal plea, were a nullity. This appeal is allowed. For the avoidance of doubt we order that the finding and sentence of the court below be set aside, and we also order that the appellant be re-tried before a court of competent jurisdiction.