Jail for drug pilferer, gets nine months IHL
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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Hospital attendant stealing drugs to be used on his people in his village, who was going to administer the drugs?! Untrained practitioner in the village and his relatives are very happy amawabayira jekeseni kumudzi, hehehe koma umbuli ndi matenda aakulu ndithu
Ndiye anthu onse m’mudzimo anali atadwala nthawi imodzi.
Bravo for the conviction, thumbs down for the sentence. the sentence is too small to deter people from this rotten behavior that is causing a lot of suffering and deaths to poor people who cannot manage to pay for drugs in pharmacies or private hospitals. For God’s sake he is just a hospital attendant and what he said in mitigation should have even persuaded the judge to give a stiff punishment. It is dangerous for a hospital attendant to prescribe drugs to people. He is a danger to the community he wanted to give the drugs to assuming that’s the… Read more »