The Magistrates Court in Blantyre has slapped with 12 months jail term College of Medicine student, Cedrick Kanyongolo for stealing a laptop, cell-phone and stethoscope from a schoolmate, Davis Kapenga under false pretence.
However, the court has suspended the sentence to 480 hours of community service after Kanyongolo, pleaded guilty to the offence.
Magistrate Jane Mthiko slapped Kanyongolo with the jail term before suspending it on Friday morning; just a day after the court convicted him in a 30-minute trial upon pleading guilty to the charge of obtaining goods under false pretence contrary to Section 319 of the Penal Code.
Details presented in court by Police Prosecutor, Elton Chakhaza, Kanyongolo committed the crime on July 9 this year at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital (QECH) were Kapenga was doing his internship.
“On or about the evening of July 9, went to QECH where he pretended as one of workers at X-ray department and under false pretence stole from Davis Kapenga a laptop, cell-phone and stethoscope. He went ahead to sell the items.
“He was arrested after those who bought the stolen items reported him to Chilobwe Police Station. Actually, the accused was apprehended by the one who bought the laptop after he got suspicious with the contents of the gadget,” Chakhaza told the court.
Plea of Guilty
While pleading guilty, Kanyongolo, who admitted to have been suspended from the College of Medicine earlier this month on academic grounds, said it was not intentional to steal the items and that he only took them for safe keeping since Kapenga was working late.
“I wanted to keep them for him, but since it was late and I am no longer residing at the college campus, I had to use the items as surety to get money for transport. I wanted money to buy fuel for the car I was driving to travel to Zomba where my parents reside. It was not my intention to sell the items,” pleaded the young Kanyongolo.
The innocent-faced teenager, told the court he sold the laptop at a price of K65, 000 and only got K5, 000 which he used for the said vehicle fuel.
“While in Zomba I got K5, 000 from my parents and was same time when the person who bought the laptop called me to come and collect my balance. My intention was to give back the K5,000 and regained the laptop,’ he conceded.
He told the court was feeling guilty for stealing the items, saying “I knew my friend will suffer and since he wanted to use the laptop for a research presentation, I went about trying to get the items back, and that’s when I was apprehended and was later surrendered to the police.”
In mitigation, Kanyongolo pleaded for leniency since he was student and was waiting to resume normal studies at the college next month.
“I was dismissed from school and I am waiting for my readmission earlier next month, therefore I ask for a consideration. I have been in custody since my arrest and my parents are not aware of this,” Kanyongolo pleaded.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :