The Blantyre Central Senior Resident Magistrate court on November 10, 2022 sent to jail four men for a total of 130 years for gang-raping a 22- year-old woman after they tied her fiance with ropes at Belo forest in Chirimba, Blantyre.
Sub-Inspector Widson Nhlane, Public Relations Officer for Ndirande Police Station said the four, Patrick Gabriel, who is the gang leader and his colleagues Leonard Greek Dama, Grandson Chuma and Joseph Elisha, are to serve jail terms of 42, 28, 36, and 24 years imprisonment respectively for the offences of robbery and rape.
In court, Ndirande Police prosecution officer Assistant Superintendent Lyson Chavinda, said that it was on September 19, 2020 at around 17:00 hours, when the victim and her fiance were coming from work in Chirimba industrial site going to Magalasi location through Belo forest.
While in the middle of the forest, the gang leader Patrick Gabriel, ordered his colleagues to tie the victim’s fiance.
He then started raping the victim, and in turns they all did the same before going away with her cellphone, and assorted groceries.
Days later, Ndirande Police Station arrested the four after investigations.
While appearing in court, they started to escape when the session was in progress but, they were apprehended.
Instantly, the presiding magistrate convicted and sentenced them to 2 years imprisonment for the offence of escaping in lawful custody.
During full trial in court, only two, Leonard Dama and Joseph Elisha pleaded guilty, but Patrick Gabriel and Grandson Chuma pleaded not guilty.
In his submission, Chavinda pleaded to the court to mete out stiffer sentences saying offences committed are felonies and that they planned for these evil acts.
When passing sentence, Blantyre Central Senior Resident Magistrate Akya Mwanyongo, concurred with the state while quashing the mitigating factors.
He then went on to sentence, Patrick Gabriel to 21 years for robbery and 21 years for rape, Leonard Dama to 12 years for robbery and 16 years for rape, Grandson Chuma to 18 years for robbery and 18 years for rape, and Joseph Elisha to 10 years for robbery and 14 years for rape.
The sentences are to run consecutively.