A court in Balaka has sentenced two men to nine years in jail for stealing a breast cancer detecting machine from a cancer specialist.
The two are Geoffrey Chinyama and Laiton Juma.
State prosecutor Ellias Chitsulo told the court that Balaka Police received information that Dr Briony Ackroyd’s portable ultrasound machine used to diagnose breast cancer was stolen from her on 5th February when she was going to Mangochi to attend to patients showing signs of cancer.
On 11th February, a team of detectives from Ulongwe Police received a tip that someone was keeping a laptop and in course of following up, the officers arrested Chinyama and Juma as well as recovered the stolen ultrasound machine.
Appearing before court, the two men were convicted on their own plea of guilty.
In his submission, Sub Inspector Chitsulo prayed for a stiff penalty considering the circumstances in which the case was committed.
“They came as well-wishers and were paid 100 US dollars for helping the doctor out of the mud but were ungrateful that their act portrayed a very bad picture about Malawians,” he said.
The state further said the offence is very serious and the machine stolen might have been used to save someone’s life.
Second Grade Magistrate Victor Sibu concurred with the state and sentenced the two to 9 years imprisonment with hard labour as a lesson to other would be offenders.
Geoffrey Chinyama (31) and Laiton Juma (22) hail from Nsaliwa village in the area of Traditional Authority Kalembo in Balaka.