Mzimba Second Grade Magistrate Court has sentenced Ester Gumbo, 35, to five years’ Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) for stealing an eight-month-old girl at Emfeni Market in the district in 2019.
The Court heard that on April 11, 2019 the mother of the child was buying second hand clothes at Emfeni Market and Gumbo volunteered herself to assist her in carrying the baby so that the mother could properly select clothes of her choice.
State Prosecutor Sub Inspector Adamson Kachitsa reported that after finishing choosing the clothes, the mother of the child could not find the woman together with her child.
He said that later Police instituted an investigation and this year the investigations have led to the arrest of Gumbo and the recovery of the child who is now four-years-old. The child has since been reunited with her mother.
Appearing before court, Gumbo who was arrested last week pleaded guilty to the charges of child stealing and was convicted on her own plea of guilty.
In mitigation, Gumbo appealed for the court’s leniency on grounds that she is old and that she was looking after her parents who are old too.
In his submission, Kachitsa asked for a stiffer punishment despite the convict being the first offender saying the offence was serious in nature and it attracts maximum penalty of seven years imprisonment with hard labour.
The prosecutor further argued that the crime has had an effect on the child as she is failing to recognise her mother.
Magistrate Wongani Kumwenda slapped the convict with a five-year jail term with effect from time of her arrest.
Reported by Aliko Munde.
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