The Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court sitting in Thyolo on Thursday sentenced 24-year-old Amos Chikwawa to 7 years imprisonment with hard labour for raping and impregnating an 18-year-old girl who has mental health disorder.
Public Relations Officer for Thyolo police sergeant Rabecca Kashoti said the man was found guilty under Section 139 of the Penal Code.
According to Kashoti, the court through state prosecutor Sub Inspector Ishmael Abubast heard that on August 11 2021 the victim’s mother observed some changes on her daughter’s appearance.
When asked, the child revealed that Chikwawa sexually abused her some months back but she could not recall the dates.
The matter was later reported to community policing members who launched a manhunt for the accused and arrested him.
Appearing before court, Chikwawa pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement. This however prompted the state to parade four witnesses who testified against him, leading to his conviction.
In mitigation, the convict asked the court for leniency, saying he is a breadwinner and his family will suffer if he is sent to prison.
Prosecutor Abubast said the convict is an in-law to the victim and he was supposed to protect her but he took it as an advantage knowing fully well her condition.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Asunta Maxwell concurred with the state’s submission and slapped the convict with 7 years jail term to serve as a lesson to other would-be offenders.
Chikwawa hails from Chipho Village in Traditional Authority Nsabwe in Thyolo District.
In a related development, Thyolo First Grade Magistrate’s Court on the same day convicted and sentenced 24-year-old John Magreen of Mchenga Village in Traditional Authority Mbawera in Thyolo to 3 years imprisonment with hard labour for acts intended to cause grievous harm.
The court through state prosecutor Sergeant Gertrude Matenje heard that the convict committed the offence on May 11 2021 at Mchenga Village in Traditional Authority Mbawera where he unlawfully wounded his father in-law.
The father in-law wanted to rescue his daughter from the fight between the convict and his wife.