Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate Court on Thursday, July 29, 2021 convicted and sentenced Richard Joseph, 24, to 13-years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling his 14-year-old sister in-law contrary to section 138 of the penal code.
The court through state Prosecutor Inspector Amos Mwase heard that the accused is a brother in-law of the victim and on July 16, 2021, the victim was sent to Likulungwa market to sell tomatoes by her sister.
When she returned in the evening she found the accused alone at home while her sister went to the garden.
Prosecutor Mwase added that, Joseph took advantage of his wife’s absence and dragged the victim inside his bedroom where he defiled her.
The poor girl narrated the ordeal to her two friends who escorted her to the chairperson of community Policing forum who reported the matter at Malombe Police Unit where she was issued a medical report and the results from Malombe Health Centre confirmed that the victim was defiled.
Appearing in court, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge prompting the state to parade three witnesses who testified against him.
In mitigation, Joseph asked for the court’s leniency, saying that he is a first offender and breadwinner to his family but Prosecutor Mwase prayed for a stiffer sentence, saying such cases are on the increase in the district which has put the life of a girl child at risk.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state and finally slapped him with a 13-year jail term to deter other would be offenders.
Joseph hails from Likulungwa Village, in the area of Traditional Authority Chowe in Mangochi.