The Lilongwe Senior Resident Magistrate court has sentenced three Area 24 women to four years in imprisonment with hard labour assault causing bodily harm and insulting the modesty of a woman.
The convicts Flora Chinguwo, Norah Chatsika and Gertrude Banda, were arrested after a video clip went viral on social media where they were captured assaulting a woman identified as Bridget Kumchulesi.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Paul Chiotcha said the court initially wanted to slap the three women with 10 years jail ters considering the gravity of the offence.
He, however, said the court had to be lenient considering the the women were also subjected to assualt and torture in the hands of the police.
“The Police assaulted the accused , beat them up and took off part of their clothes, Therefore, the police have disturbed the operations of the court. Because of what the police did the court has reduced the sentence,” Chiotcha said.
He condemned the conduct of police towards the women while in custody, describing it as inhumane act .
“The appropriate sentence for this case would be 10 years or more, however, it will be injustice if the court does not put into account the torture that the women went through in the hands of the police.”
Their lawyer Paul Taulo said Police at Kawale photographed the convicts while naked and posted the photos on social media.
“They later took them to a public toilt where they were asked to slepp on the floor while naked,” he said.
Taulo said he was pleased that his prayer for leniency in sentencing has been answered, saying the convicts admitted the charge in police “and pleaded guilty on time.”
He added: “They are also young mothers and children.”
Taulo said they still have right to appeal.