The Mtakataka First Grade Magistrate’s court in Dedza has jailed a bicycle taxi operator for six years on Thursday after it found him guilty of trying to rape a woman he had carried on his bicycle.
The convict, John James aged 21 comes from Karonga Village, Traditional Authority (TA) Kachindamoto while the victim (name withheld), comes from Kambuku Village, TA Kachindamoto in the district.
The court heard through Police prosecutor Sub Inspector John Andisen that on 6th August this year the woman hired James to take her home.
However, on the way he detoured into a footpath leading to a bush where he attempted to rape her.
Andisen said the woman fought back until James saw a passerby and fled off leaving his bicycle taxi behind.
“He fled off when he saw a certain man passing by but the man identified him (the convict) and reported him to Mtakataka police,” he said.
The court further heard that James also attempted to rape a separate woman earlier this year using a similar trick. He was only spared because the woman pardoned him and withdrew the case, according to Andisen.
“I, therefore, urge this court to give James a stiff sentence in order to protect women,” Andisen said.
In his verdict First Grade Magistrate Samson Mwambo said the court felt duty bound to punish James in order to deter would be offenders.
Attempted rape is contrary to section 134 of the penal code and attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.