Man gets 12 years for marrying girl, 13

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A court in Rumphi has sentenced a 29-year-old man to 12 years imprisonment with hard labour for marrying, raping and impregnating a 13-year-old girl.

The convict has been identified as Henderson Gondwe.

CourtThe Rumphi First Grade Magistrate Court heard that on 9th February this year at around 3pm the victim was assigned by her mother to go to the market to buy salt.

On her way back home, a 29-year-old woman identified as Carol Mwandira called the girl to her house.

She told the child that she had found a man (Gondwe) to marry her. She then locked the door to stop the girl from going home.

During the evening of the same day, Mwandira and her husband Annuel Ngwira took the girl to another village called Mbulunji.

At Mbulunji, the two married the girl off to Gondwe who hails from Mututhamya village, TA Mwankhunikira in Rumphi.

After some weeks, Gondwe’s relatives went to the victim’s parents with K10,000 for dowry. But the parents refused.

The matter was then reported to Rumphi police Station.

Police officers made a follow up and they found Gondwe together with the victim.

A test at Rumphi District Hospital confirmed that the girl is pregnant.

Gondwe was arrested and in court he was convicted of defilement.

In his submission, state prosecutor Aubrey Maganga pleaded for a stiff sentence to teach a lesson to others who might commit the same offence.

The convict prayed before the court to be lenient saying he did not know that the victim was a young girl.

His Worship Cuthbert Phiri sentenced him to 12 years in prison with hard labour.

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