Choir master jailed for defiling choir member

The Balaka First Grade Magistrate Court in Eastern Malawi has sentenced a 21-year-old choir master to six years  imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 14 year old choir member.

Police Prosecutor Sub Inspector Mercy Chande told the court that Moses Frackshoni 21, during the month of February 2013 at Jere village, Sub Traditional Authority Kachenga in Balaka district, had been defiling a 14 year old choir member.

Sub Inspector Chande went on to inform the court that the suspect who was a choir master for Christian Development Centre church (CDC) proposed love to the victim who was a choir member.  Since then, the
suspect had been going to the victim’s house at night where he was having sex with her.

“After some months, the victim started showing some signs of pregnancy and upon being asked, she mentioned the suspect Moses Frachshon as being responsible for the pregnancy,” said Chande.justice

Considering the age of the victim, her mother reported the matter to Balaka Police who arrested the suspect for defilement which is contrary to section 138(1) of the Penal code.

Medical report from Balaka District hospital revealed that the victim was really pregnant.

Appearing before the Balaka First Grade Magistrate court, the suspect pleaded not guilty to the offence of defilement but the court found him guilty after Police paraded three witnesses including the
investigator Detective Constable Sigere Munthali.

In her submission before sentence, Sub Inspector Mercy Chande asked the court to consider giving the suspect a stiffer sentence since the offence committed is serious in nature and that these cases are becoming common in the district.

Chande said, this case was coming barely a month after the very same court convicted another choirmaster
to 78 months imprisonment for defiling a choir member again.

“This clearly shows how common the cases are in the district hence the need to give offenders stiffer sentences so that it should be a lesson to would be offenders,” said Chande.

She also said what the choir master has done has brought shame to the whole church and the suspect deserves a custodial sentence.

But in mitigation, the suspect Moses Frackshoni pleaded with the court for leniency saying that he looks after his ageing mother and that he is a first offender.

Passing judgement, First Grade Magistrate Damson Banda wondered as to where the girl child will be safe if they are not safe even at churches. He said choir masters need to be God fearing and exemplary and agreed with the Police that what this choir master has done has brought shame to the whole church.

Magistrate Banda also warned that in defilement cases, consent is immaterial and anyone who falls in love with girls under the age of 16 commits an offence of defilement.

He said he has given him such a sentence so that it should a lesson to him and would be offenders.

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