Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, October 26, 2021 convicted and sentenced James George, 20, to 21 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling his 14 months-old stepdaughter.
This is contrary to Section 138 of the Penal code.
The court through state prosecutor Sergeant Anthony Mchiswe heard that, the convict is a step-father to the victim who found her as the only child from the previous relationship when he married the mother in July 2021.
On September 6, 2021, the wife left the victim asleep and went to draw water at a nearby borehole.
On her way back she was informed by her close relative that her husband was bathing the victim but with blood oozing from her genital.
Prosecutor Mchiswe added that the mother rushed home and found the victim crying uncontrollably and unattended to with a wound in the genital area.
The matter was reported at Masuku Police Unit three days later where the victim was given a referral letter for medical attention and the results from Mkumba Health Centre confirmed that the child had been defiled.
Appearing in court, George pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement, prompting the state to parade four witnesses who testified against him.
In mitigation, he asked for the court’s leniency, saying he was taking care of his visually impaired grandmother and would suffer if sent to prison, but prosecutor Mchiswe said such cases are on the increase, endangering a girl child in the district.
The prosecutor further said as a parent, George was supposed to protect the girl as a daughter instead of molesting her hence prayed for a stiffer penalty.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state, hence the 21-year sentence to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.
George hails from Namaninga Village Traditional Authority Bwananyambi in Mangochi.