A 38 year-old Henry Mbewe of Pelenje village, Traditional Authority Nkalo in Chiladzulu district has been handed 12 years in jail for defiling a 3-year-old girl by a First Grade Magistrate court in Karonga.
Mbewe was found guilty of committing the offence with the minor , who is his step daughter in Malema village in the district.
The mother of the child told the court that the incident happened in December 2014 when she went out to her usual business in the district’s main market.
“It was on 23 December 2014 in the evening when I left my daughter with her step father as I went to the market to sell tomato as usual, upon coming back around 7 PM I found the child crying while bleeding in her private parts alone,” said Gondwe.
Adding that “the thing was very strange to me I then took the child to the police officer the same night who helped me to look for the father and they find him the following day boarding a minibus going to Mzuzu.”
District Police prosecutor Tamala Banda asked the court to give stiff punishment claiming that cases of defilement are very high.
“Cases of defilement are very rampant here in Karonga and with this case the medical report clearly confirmed that the child has been defiled an indication that the man has ruined the future of the young girl as such the court should give him a stiff punishment so that other people can get a lesson,” said Banda.
During mitigation the accused pleaded for leniency.
He confessed to court that “what happened was not intentional but devil’s work because I have never done that before and on top of that my family depend on me for survival so you have to be lenient with me.”
“I have regretted my action From today onward, I promise to turn a new leaf,” he said. –
However, the District First Magistrate Chakaka Nyirenda observed that cases of defilement are on the increase.
“Almost every month we are having cases of defilement in Karonga as such the accused will save 12 years imprisonment with hard labour as a detterent to others,” said Nyirenda.
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