The Nkhata Bay Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday February, 15, 2023 convicted and sentenced two men to 21 years imprisonment with hard labour each for defiling a 14-year-old girl and committed one to the High Court for the same offence.
The court through state prosecutor Sub Inspector Isaac Imed heard that the accused persons Lywell Kamanga aged 30, Charles Mlanda, 25 and Duncan Phiri, 23 all from Traditional Authority Mankhambira in Nkhata Bay District, were arrested in October, 2022 following a report that they defiled a 14-year-old girl at Chilambwe in the district.
According to the state prosecutor, there was overnight prayers at Chilambwe CCAP Church on October 22, 2022 where the girl went to attend.
Whilst at the church around 22:00 hours, the girl went outside the church to answer a call of nature where she unfortunately met the three accused persons. The first accused person reportedly dragged the girl into the nearby bush where his accomplices followed.
They all defiled the girl, one after another despite that she shouted for help. As that was not enough, two other boys imaged at the place with similar motive but they failed since someone who heard the girl shouting for help came to her rescue. The accused persons escaped.
Upon arresting the three, they were taken to the First Grade Magistrate Court where they denied the charge. Eight state witnesses however, testified against them such that the court found them guilty and eventually convicted them.
Proceeding with the case under Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on February 15, 2023 the state asked the court to pass a deterrent sentence against the convicts basing on the fact that messages of protecting girls against such violence have been circulating through all forms of communication across the nation. The prosecutor added that the convicts planned to commit the offence and that they have left a huge scar of trauma on the girl.
In mitigation, the convicts said their minds were overwhelmed by the devil to act in such evil way on the girl hence prayed for leniency.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Mateo Fatsani Chitha quashed the mitigation factors and concurred with the state. Chitha said the convicts would have taken a role of supporting efforts that the nation is making towards ending violence against girls.
Chitha therefore sentenced the second convict Charles Mlanda and the third convict Duncan Phiri to 21 years imprisonment with hard labour each and committed the first convict Lywell Kamanga to the high court for appropriate sentence.