Court slaps rapist with 45 years IHL for defilement

The High Court in Lilongwe on Thursday April sentenced Limbikani Mpokosa, 34, to unprecedented 45 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a four-year-old girl in the district.
Senior Resident Magistrate Florence Msekandiana heard from Public Prosecutor Sub Inspector Damiano Nyasulu, that the convict on November 27, 2020 had carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16 when both of her parents were out for work.

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The next morning, when father to the victim was dressing her ready for a day care school, he noticed the girl’s private parts were swollen and had bruises.
The girl, who had also difficulties in walking, later disclosed to her father that she was wounded in her private parts by Mpokosa, whom she knew very well as a neighbour.
When police sent the victim for medical examination, Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) discovered a broken hymen due to the penetration, thereby confirming the defilement.
In court, Mpokosa pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement, a development that prompted the state to parade five witnesses to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt.
After a full trial, Senior Resident Magistrate Florence Msekandiana convicted Mpokosa.
In mitigation, the convict through his representative, Maziko Nyirenda, of the Legal Aid Bureau, told the court that Mpokosa is a first time offender thus must benefit from the court’s leniency.
Nyirenda also said that maximum sentences must be reserved for the worst offenders in the worst of cases, which he did not believe that his client meets the threshold of the most violent and heinous crime deserving maximum sentence which is life imprisonment.
But in his submission, public prosecutor Damiano Nyasulu, asked the court to impose a meaningful and stiffer sentence that will fit the convict as the perpetrator, fit the crime he committed and at the same time deter the would be offenders.
However, the Senior Resident Magistrate court, having given the opinion that the offence merits a sentence higher than which it could impose by the law, it referred the matter to the High Court for sentencing.
The lower court recommended a sentence of 26 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Passing sentence, High Court Judge Annabel Mtalimanja, described defilement as a very serious and heinous offence that is both carnally and psychologically offensive.
The Judge also said that at four years old, the victim was nowhere near sexual maturity, and she was not physically, emotionally and psychologically developed to process a sexual encounter.
So, in defiling her, the convict stole not only her innocence and childhood, but also desecrated her right to choose her sexual debut.
Mtalimanja then went on to impose a sentence of 45 years imprisonment on the convict with effect from November 29, 2020 his date of arrest.
Limbikani Mpokosa hails from Traditional Authority Njewa in Lilongwe District.

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