The Mchinji First Grade Magistrate’s Court has convicted and sentenced 28-year-old Chrissie Banda to four years imprisonment with hard labour(IHL) for stealing a four-day-old baby belonging to Lucia Clement.

Banda was arrested on Thursday last week after a tip off from well-wishers that she was nurturing a newborn baby boy who was stolen from Mchinji District Hospital during the wee hours of Tuesday January 3 2017.

During the court hearing on Friday which was marred by violence as angry villagers stormed the court premises demanding the immediate release of Banda to administer mob justice on her, Banda pleaded guilty to the offence.

In mitigation, Banda asked the presiding magistrate to be lenient on her.

But State Prosecutor Humphreys Makhaliha trashed Banda’s plea, saying the offence committed by Banda is a serious one.

“The case is serious in nature as it attracts a maximum sentence of seven years imprisonment with hard labour , furthermore the health of the child was completely deprived since allowing it to be away from the Kangaroo special care could lead to serious complications of the baby,” said Makhaliha.

After weighing the arguments from all sides, Mchinji First Grade Magistrate Major Phiri slapped Banda with four years imprisonment with hard labour.

Banda hails from Chikhutu village in the area of traditional authority Zulu in the district.

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