Man jailed for 14 years for robbery in Mangochi

The Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on November 23, 2022 convicted and sentenced John M’madi Raja, 54, for robbing at Mpondas Total Filling Station using an offensive weapon.

The court through Mangochi Police Station Prosecution Officer lnspector Amos Mwase heard that, on the wee hours of June 14, 2022, the convict broke into Mpondasi Total Filling Station, dragged all fuel attendants and locked them in one room and fled away with CCTV camera saver, K60,000 cash, two cellphones, 10 bottles of five litres of oil, 5 jerrycans (20 litres each) of fuel and assorted groceries, all items worthy K558,400.

State prosecutor Inspector Mwase informed the court that the convict was armed with a pistol and also tied up the guards before executing the operation.

The matter was reported at Mangochi Police Station, who launched an investigation. Detectives arrested the convict in one of the rest houses in Balaka following a tip from members of the public. The detectives also recovered a pistol and black head mask in the room.

The detectives also conducted identification parade whereby all fuel attendants from the said Filling Station identified the convict.

Appearing before court, Raja pleaded not guilty to both charges prompting the state to parade five witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.

In mitigation, the convict asked for court’s leniency, stating that he is a breadwinner to his family who will suffer if sent to prison.

Inspector Mwase emphasised that the crime was well organised since the convict was commuting from outside Mangochi.

Mwase added that the convict’s behaviour brought fear to the residents and the victims were traumatized hence prayed for a custodial sentence.

Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state’s submission.

He sentenced him to 14 years for robbery and 2-years imprisonment with hard labour for illegal possession of firearm. The sentences to run concurrently.

Raja hails from Kalembo Village in Traditional Authority Kalembo in Balaka District, according to Sub Inspector Amina Tepani Daudi, Public Relations Officer (PRO) for Mangochi Police Station.

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