5 years in prison for grievous harm

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The Second Grade Magistrate’s court sitting in Chintheche, Nkhata Bay District has convicted and sentenced 33-year-old Innocent Kumwenda to 5 years imprisonment with hard labour for assaulting Lucia Paulo aged 54, leading to the loss of her three incisors teeth.

The state prosecutor Sub Inspector Chikondi Lipato told the court that the man committed the offence in the afternoon of June 26, 2022 at Litende in the district.

The court further heard that on the material day, the woman went to her garden to check her crops as well as fetching firewood. Whilst there, she saw the suspect who pretended to be a passerby.

Surprisingly the suspect enquired from the woman of her husband’s whereabouts. Immediately after responding, the suspect grabbed the woman by her neck and started assaulting her.

She was severely assaulted until she lost her three teeth. Upon screaming, some members of Community Policing in the area came to her rescue and eventually arrested the suspect and took him to Chintheche Police. He was charged with grievous harm which is contrary to Section 238 of the Penal Code.

Appearing in court the suspect denied the charge prompting the State to parade two witnesses. Their evidence corroborated a medical report which was also tendered in the same court.

The court found the evidence sufficient and eventually convicted the suspect.

In submission Prosecutor Lipato said the act displayed by the convict is dangerous, as his motive for assaulting the woman who sustained that permanent disfigurement is still not known.

The prosecutor therefore prayed for a stiffer punishment which would deter others from committing a similar offence.

In mitigation, Kumwenda said that he was influenced by intoxicating liquor and that he is a breadwinner.

Passing sentence, Magistrate Alex Mailosi quashed all mitigating factors and concurred with the state. He therefore ordered Kumwenda to spend 5 years of his life in prison with effect from the date of his arrest.

He is from Chaponda Village in Traditional Authority Chindi in Mzimba District.

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