The Senior Residence Magistrate Court in Mzuzu has quashed the sentence by the lower court and subsequently slapped a 49 year old Kaziputa Banda , with 18 years imprisonment with hard labour for defilement.
The court sitting in Mzuzu, before Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Kandulu heard that the convict was acquitted by the First Grade Magistrate court sitting in Chintheche on basis of insufficient evidence.
It was further heard that upon review of the case , it came to light that the lower court errored in meting out a sentence before considering the violation of the rule against hearsay by allowing an investigator to tender a medical report other than the medical personnel who authored it.
It also questioned the usage of the an unauthentic report in evidence and failure to consider the evidence in totality by the lower court.
This prompted the High Court to order for retrial.
During retrial, head of prosecutions, superintendent Damiano Kaputa told the court that the 11 year old victim, first met her fate when she went to draw water from a well near the convict’s garden .
The convict reportedly dragged the victim to the nearby bush and subsequently defiled her before giving her K50 to seal her mouth . Some days later , the convict reportedly defiled her in his house and threatened to stub her upon disclosure of the matter.
However the girl shared the ordeal to her friends who later narrated it to her parents and was arrested by police and charged with the offence of defilement which infringes section 138(1) of the penal code and attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment with hard labour.
The convict denied the charge, pushing the state to parade five witnesses who testified against him .
During mitigation, he pleaded with the court to exercise leniency claiming that he has spent 48 years blameless and that he is old.
In his ruling , Senior Resident magistrate Peter Kanduku concurred with the State that the act by the convict was very bad to the girl and may have a long time psychological effect on the victim.
He further noticed from the evidence that the convict well planned to commit the offence and therefore sentenced him to 18 years imprisonment with hard labour.
The convict hails from Chavula Village in the area of Traditional Authority Fukamapiliri in Nkhatabay District.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :