Mzuzu First Grade Magistrate Court has sentenced a 38 year old James Santhe eight and half years Imprisonment with Hard Labour-IHL for abducting and defiling a 13 year old girl in May this year.

Police Prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent Lloyd Magweje speaking in an interview with Faceof Malawi said Santhe who hails from Chamahiya Village in the area of Traditional Authority Chulu in Kasungu District, is said to have proposed to the young girl then took her as his wife at his home.

The missing of the victim prompted parents to report the matter Mzuzu Police Station and after a fort-night of investigations, the law enforcers caught up and arrested Santhe.

However in court, Santhe pleaded not guilty to defilement and abduction charges, arguing he had married the teenager because she had shown interest to live under one roof with him and that he was about to process marriage rites.

State Police prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent Lloyd Magweje, paraded six witnesses who testified against him.

And delivering his ruling, First Grade Magistrate Cuthbert Phiri found Santhe guilty on both counts.

Although Santhe pleaded for leniency as he was a first offender, Magistrate Phiri slapped him with eight and half years IHL.

Magistrate Phiri stressed the need to protect girls from sexual harassment, noting it was the duty of the courts to protect the girl child by meting out stiffer punishments on people like Santhe.

Defilement and abduction are contrary to sections 138(1) and 136 of the penal code respectively. Defilement attracts a maximum sentence of life imprisonment while Abduction attracts a maximum penalty of 7 years IHL.

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