The First Grade Magistrate’s Court in Chikwawa on Monday sentenced a 22-year-old man to 12-year imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 14-year-old primary school girl.

The court, through Police Prosecutor Inspector Helix Kamkweche, heard that on 25th March this year (2018), Innocent Richman defiled a girl within Illovo cane fields at Sekeni Village under Paramount Chief Lundu in the district.

“Prior to this day, Richman had approached the girl at Ntamba Therere where she and her friend had gone to visit the latter’s grandmother,” explained Prosecutor Kamkweche.

The prosecutor explained that Richman had deceived the victim that she could be ill-treated by her friend’s granny if she decided to stay long.

‘‘He assumed responsibility of getting her ‘out of trouble’ by escorting her back to her home village in Ndirande around Nchalo, and she was quickly convinced,’’ said Kamkweche.

Kamkweche further said the two set off by bicycle and later in the afternoon, dropped at a certain bar where Richman took some beer and bought the girl a frozy drink.

“Then they set out again, [but now] on foot as the accused claimed his bicycle had broken down. On arrival at Sekeni Village, Richman dragged the girl into the sugar plantation and defiled her,” Prosecutor Kamkweche explained.

The prosecutor added that the girl spilled the beans to bicycle taxi men who they had met soon after resuming their journey. Richman was immediately seized and handed over to Nchalo Police Post.

The prosecutor disclosed that the victim was taken to the hospital where it was confirmed that she had really been defiled.

During trial, Richman denied any wrongdoing, prompting the state to parade three witnesses who testified against him.

In his submission, Prosecutor Kamkweche prayed to the court to hand the accused a stiff sentence, saying defilement is contrary to Section 138 of the Penal Code. He said the accused had created fear in the victim and portrayed the host family as evil-minded and irresponsible.

Passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu concurred with the state, saying the accused had demonstrated demonic behaviour by cunningly posing as a good Samaritan, yet he had sinister intentions.

Chirundu slapped the accused with a 12-year-jail term to serve as a lesson to others.

Richman comes from Tizola Village in the area of Paramount Chief Lundu in Chikwawa district.

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