76-year old sex assault suspect commits suicide

A 76 year old  Lastone Mkandawire accused of defiling a 10 year old granddaughter in Rumphi has committed suicide  for fear of reappearing before court, Police have confirmed.

The  Magistrate court in Rumphi heard that on Monday, Mkandawire went to  water his tobacco nursery with his granddaughter, and while there he forced himself on the minor.

In the process the child started crying with pain for help and Mary Nyazimba who also came to water her nursery close to Mkandawire’s place heard and rushed only to see the old man on top of the girl.

Nyazimba then reported the matter to village elders who tipped the Police who later detained him.

While in custody Mkandawire got sick a development that prompted the court to fast track his case and grant him bail considering fragile health and age.

On the eve of his next appearance before the court, Mkandawire hanged himself in his house. People in the village who went to greet him in the morning found him hanging in his sitting room.

Rumphi Police Publicist Victor Khamisi said, “Mkandawire was on court bail and was supposed to appear before court on Wednesday before he hanged himself.

“We had overwhelming evidence against the deceased, ranging from an eyewitness and the medical personnel who did the girl’s genital examinations which were proving penetration.”

Postmortem conducted by the medical personnel revealed that death was due to strangulation as a result of the wind pipe being blocked with a rope on the deceased’s neck.

The case of defilement attracts a maximum of imprisonment for life punishment.

Lastone Mkandawire hails from Kamphuma village in Paramount Chief Chikulamayembe’s area.

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