State Prosecutor Sergeant Winily Chikhobili told the court that the suspect Oscar Fides 34 was arrested by members of the community at Chipinga village in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Nsamala in the district on allegations that he abducted four children.
Chikhobili said the victims who are aged between 2 and 4 years were on their way to a nursery school when they met the suspect who told them to follow him to Blantyre.
“Some people became suspicious of his moves and when asked of where he was going with the children the suspect said he was taking the children to Blantyre and their parents were aware; and this surprised them because the person was a stranger in the area.
“They then took him to the parents of the children who expressed ignorance of their children’s trip to Blantyre,” said Chikhobili.
Oscar was then arrested and taken to Balaka Police where he was charged with the offence of abduction which is contrary to section 78 subsection 1 of Child Care, Protection and Justice Act.
The court found him guilty and consequently convicted him after the state paraded six witnesses but in his mitigation, Oscar asked for leniency saying that he has a wife and children to look after.
Passing judgment, First Grade Magistrate Felix Mandala concurred with the state that Fides deserved a stiffer sentence saying even the court is not sure of what he was going to do with the children if he succeeded in taking them.
He therefore sentenced him to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour. He said he has given him such a sentence so that it should be a lesson to him and would be offenders.
Oscar Fides comes from Chafisi village, T/A Wimbe in Kasungu district but was residing in Lilongwe and committed the offence in Balaka district.