Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 26-year-old man to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour for raping a five-year-old girl.
The court handed the sentence to John James on Wednesday.
The court through the Station Prosecution Officer Inspector Amos Mwase heard that, on April 26, 2021 around 11:00 hours the child left the house without the knowledge of her parents who were busy shelling maize.
The victim came back at 13 00 hours while crying uncontrollably with fresh blood stains on her dress.
Following the incident, the matter was reported to Police who later arrested the accused. The child was rushed to Maganga Health Centre for medical attention where she was referred to Salima District Hospital.
At the hospital, she was hospitalised for three months after sustaining serious injuries in her private parts.
Appearing in court, James pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement, prompting the state to parade four witnesses who testified against him.
In mitigation, the convict asked for the court’s leniency, saying he takes care of his grandmother who will suffer if sent to prison, but prosecutor Mwase said such cases are on the increase in the district which has put the life of a girl child at risk.
The prosecutor further said the victim suffered and lost a lot of blood, hence prayed for a stiffer penalty.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe handed the 20-year sentence to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.
James hails from Chimwala Village, Traditional Authority Chimwala in Mangochi.