First grade magistrate’s court in Mulanje on Tuesday sentenced a nurse who raped a pregnant woman in the labour ward at Chinyama health centre to five years imprisonment with hard labour.

Magistrate Smart Maruwasa said the nurse, Arthur Chiulika, acted in undignified manner to a labored woman, and that his action is a setback in encouraging women to deliver at health centres.

He said the dignity of the woman was tarnished and it will take years to rebuild.

Chiulika’s lawyer, Mauya Msuku of Banda and Banda law firm who was hired by Nurses and Midwives Council of Malawi, pleaded with the court to be lenient to his client as by convicting him he has already lost his job.

But Magistrate Maruwasa argued that the convict could have considered consequences of such a serious abuse on the victim who was in labour and he was her only hope.

The Magistrate said the sentence will deter other would be offenders.

The convict was arrested on 19th February, 2018 and was convicted on 10 August, 2018. He pleaded not guilty.

He hails from Mkali village Traditional Authority Mponda in Mangochi district.

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