The Balaka Second Grade Magistrate Court has convicted and sentenced Geoffrey Chinyama and Laiton Juma to 9 years Imprisonment with hard labour after found them guilty of theft from motor vehicle contrary to section 282 of the penal code.
Presenting the facts, state prosecutor Sub Inspector Ellias Chitsulo explained to the court that Balaka Police received information that Dr Briony Acroyd’s portable Ultra sound machine used to diagnose breast cancer was stolen from him on 5th February, 2018 when he was going to Mangochi to attend to patients showing signs of cancer.
On 11th February, 2018 a team of detectives from Ulongwe Police received a tip that someone was keeping a laptop and in course of following up, the officers arrested Chinyama and Juma as well as recovered the stolen Ultra sound machine.
Appearing before court all accused persons were found guilty upon their own plea of guilty.
In his submission Sub Inspector Chitsulo prayed for a stiff penalty considering the circumstances in which the case was committed. “They came as well wishers and were paid 100 US dollars for helping the doctor out of the mud but were ungrateful that their act potrayed a very bad picture about Malawians”. The state further said the offence is very serious and the machine stolen might have been used to serve someone’s life.
Both mitigated that they are breadwinners hence the need to be given lenient sentences.
When passing sentence Second Grade Magistrate Victor Sibu concurred with the state and sentenced the accused to 9 years Imprisonment with hard labour as a lesson to other would be offenders.
Geoffrey Chinyama (31) and Laiton Juma (22) hails from Nsaliwa village in the area of Traditional Authority Kalembo in Balaka district.