Court acquits phone technician who was sentenced to  15 years in prison


The High Court in Blantyre yesterday acquitted 38-year-old Lucius Moses who was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour after a phone he sold was found to have been stolen during a burglary.

According to the Legal Aid Bureau, Lucius Moses was operating as a phone repair technician in Limbe Market when an unknown person approached him to get a mobile phone fixed.

After doing his job, the unknown person did not have money but had another phone which he wanted to sell and give Moses his money.

That resulted in a dispute and the matter was taken to the market chairman to have the dispute resolved.

The market chairman then bought the second phone at K3,500. According to court records, Moses got K2,500 from the amount as his initial charge for repairing the first phone. The person who brought the phone for repair went away with the remaining K1,000.

Later on, the phone bought by the market chairman was discovered to have been stolen in a burglary and Moses was implicated.

In the lower court, Moses was not represented by a lawyer and on 25 April 2022, he was sentenced to 15 years for burglary and two years for theft to run concurrently.

The Legal Aid Bureau took over Moses’ case and appealed in the High Court.

“Moses was acquitted using the doctrine of recent possession because the state had not established recent possession of the stolen phone,” the Legal Aid Bureau said in a statement.

Lucius Moses is a father of two and he hails from Dayilesi Village, T/A Kalemba in Balaka district.