Lilongwe Magistrate Court on Wednesday convicted and sentenced a 35-year-old, Karen Scott to nine months Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) after he pleaded guilty of drug theft.
Lingadzi Police Public Relations Officer (PRO) Foster Benjamin said on September 6,2017, Scott who was working as a hospital attendant at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) was caught at the hospital’s gate with assorted drugs worth K77, 579.50.
“The security personnel got suspicious and searched the suspect’s plastic bag where they found 2 boxes of benzyl penicillin, 2 boxes of Neovac, and 3 packets of fragile.
“He allegedly failed to account for the drugs, prompting the security guards to apprehend and hand him over to Lingadzi Police Sub-Station,” he said.
According to Benjamin, the court held through the State Prosecutor, Inspector Rodney Bottomani, who asked the court to pass stiff penalty considering the rise in drug pilferage which he argued was putting the lives of ordinary Malawians at stake.
“In his mitigations, the convict pleaded for leniency saying he was a first offender, had a huge family responsibility and an elderly mother to look after.
“Scott asked for a lenient sentence claiming that the drugs he had stolen was not meant for business but intended for people in his home village,” he added.
Benjamin said during the court hearing, the Chief Resident Magistrate Violet Chipawo concurred with the State lamenting the increase in drug theft in public hospitals despite wide condemnation from government and other stakeholders.
He explained that Chipawo went ahead slapping the accused with nine months IHL as a measure to deter others.
Scott hails from Chitsotso Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kayembe in Dowa District.
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