Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s court on Wednesday sentenced 28-year-old Monica Mhone to 6-month community service for deserting her one year and 11 months old daughter.
During court proceedings, Prosecutor Sub Inspector Maggie Chibulire told the court that the convict, who is a sex worker at Maldeco area, on the night of March 10, 2022 locked up her little child alone and went away for business.
The abandoned child was crying uncontrollably which prompted neighbours to force open the door after several attempts of knocking.
One of the neighbours took the child and reported the incident to Koche Police Unit after 3 days of taking care of the little one.
Mhone then handed herself to the police after she heard that she was being hunted.
Appearing in court, Mhone pleaded not guilty to the charge of deserting a child prompting the state to parade two witnesses who testified against her.
In mitigation, Monica asked the court for leniency saying that she looks after other children who will suffer if sent to prison.
In her submission, prosecutor Chibulire asked for a custodial sentence while justifying that the convict did not think of the wellbeing of the child who stayed for days without being breast-fed.
Furthermore, Chibulire indicated that the child’s life was at risk as she was locked up alone in the house.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state.
He therefore sentenced Mhone to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour but suspended the sentence to 6 months community service to be served at Koche Health Centre in the district.
Meanwhile, the convict has started serving her punishment which is being supervised by the hospital officials.
She hails from Kapoto Village, Traditional Authority Fuka in Nkhata-Bay.