Teen boy gets 10 years jail for house breaking, theft

A court in Kasungu district has sentenced teenager, John Chama, to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) after being found guilty of house breaking and theft of cash plus other assorted items.

According to police, the 18-year-old boy broke into the house of Caroline Mgogo Kaipa at Mtondo ADMARC where he stole one 80kg bag of already shelled groundnuts, a mobile phone, digital camera and cash amounting to K145 000.

Kasungu Police Publicist, Edwin Kaunda, said Chama broke the house on 11th February, 2014 while the owner was at her workplace.

“He first broke the house at around 10.00am and stole one 80kg bag of shelled groundnuts, a mobile phone and digital camera. Then he went back to the house at around 5.00pm to get other items. This time he managed to steal a hand bag which had K145 000,” explained Kaunda.

Upon arrival at her home, Kaipa discovered that her house had been broken into and reported the matter to Kasungu Police, who picked the suspect same day while having quality time at one of the drinking joints within Kasungu Township.

Chama appeared before the Kasungu First Grade Magistrate Court the following day, where he pleaded guilty to the charges of housebreaking and theft before Magistrate Hens Kantchere.

At the court the suspect pleaded for leniency but the magistrate said he could not exercise it on him considering that such cases were on the rise in the district and the fact that he actually went to steal at Kaipa’s house twice indicated he was a dangerous criminal.

Magistrate Kantchere then proceeded to sentence Chama, who hails from Mtondo Village in the area of TA Kaomba in the district, to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour.

The same court has also sentenced 30-year-old, Jacob Jere, to a nine-year jail term for being found guilty of house breaking.

According to Kaunda, the suspect stole a suitcase with assorted goods inside amounting to K15, 000.

Jere committed the offence on the night of 16th-17th February, 2014 where he broke into the house of Omar Abdul at Kasankha Village in the district.

However, he was caught red handed by an alert neighbour when he was about to walk away and was surrendered to police where he pleaded guilty and was charged with theft by burglary.

He appeared before First Grade Magistrate Kantchere on 17th February where he was slapped with nine years after it was also discovered that he was a habitual criminal.

Kantchere said Jere deserved stiff punishment for his criminal record regardless of his pleading for leniency.

The convict comes from Mtambalika Village, Inkosi Traditional Authority (TA) Mwabulabo in Mzimba district.

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