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Malawi man jailed for defilement

MANGOCHI (MANA) –Mangochi Second Grade Magistrate’s Court on Friday convicted and sentenced Sailesi Chibingu to serve nine years imprisonment with hard labour upon finding him guilty of an offence of defilement.

The offence of defilement which is contrary to section 138 of the penal code attracts a maximum punishment of death or life imprisonment when one is found guilty and convicted of the offence.

It was heard in court through Police prosecution witness, Sub Inspector Maxwell Mwaluka that the accused committed the offence on June 10 this year when at around 7 O’clock in the morning at the said village had unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16 years.

Mwaluka further told the court that the accused invited the three year old girl into his house to collect some bananas where he eventually abused her sexually.

“At that material time, the girls’ mother had gone to the borehole to fetch water leaving her with her two year old sister. On returning, she did not find the older child and after shouting her name for a while came out of the house of the accused crying,” Mwaluka told the court.

The crying, according to Mwaluka made the girls’ mother suspicious.  Mwaluka told the court that further inspection of the girl discovered that her dress was soiled with semen.

The court also learnt that the matter was reported to village headman Kafucheche who later advised the aggrieved party to report the same to police. The accused was then arrested.

A medical report tendered in court as part of evidence proved that penetration had taken place and that the girls’ private parts had developed cracks as a result of the defilement. 

The accused earlier pleaded not guilty and denied to the charge of defilement but was later found guilty after the court paraded four witnesses whose testimony was strong leading to his conviction.

In mitigation, Chibingu asked the court to exercise leniency when passing sentence, claiming that he suffers from a chronic disease which would worsen with prison conditions.

However, in his judgment Second Grade Magistrate Pyson Mwenyali observed that although the accused had denied any wrong – doing the court had found him guilty based on the strength of evidence provided in court.

“Having heard evidence by all the parties, the court finds the accused guilty on the premise that the girl came out of the accused’s house with sperm stains in her dress, her private parts were also soaked with sperms and that a medical report also showed there was penetration,” Mwenyali said.   

Mwenyali said although the convict was a first offender, the court found it appropriate to pass a custodial punishment because of the manner in which the offence was committed.

“How could a man of sound mind decide to defile a girl of three years? This is very pathetic indeed. This trend of defiling young girls should be stopped with immediate effect,” Mwenyali said before pronouncing the 108 months sentence.       

Chibingu, 38, hails from Kafucheche village in the area of Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi.

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