The Karonga Senior Resident Magistrate’s court has convicted and sentenced a 20-year-old Chancy Msowoya to 21years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 4-year-old girl contrary to section 138(1) of the penal code.

The court heard that on November 03, 2020, at Chakwera village in the district, Msowoya had carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of sixteen years.

State prosecutor, Sub-inspector Ophia Ng’ambi, told the court that the offence committed by Msowoya is a felony which attracts a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Ng’ambi further told the court that cases of defilement are becoming very common in Karonga district as well as across the country.

Ng’ambi prayed to the court to impose a meaningful sentence to Msowoya to deter would-be offenders.

In mitigation, Msowoya asked the court to exercise leniency when sentencing him because he is an opharn and he fails to do hard work due to an operation.

Passing sentence Senior Resident Magistrate Mateo Fatsani Chitha concurred with the state about the seriousness of the offence.

Chitha said effects of defilement on victims cannot be underestimated, defilement cases affects victims psychologically.

“The objective of the offence of defilement is to protect the girl child whose future faces great risk of being ruined if this offence is not managed well. It is considered to be a serious gender issue and some stakeholders have cried out loud that sentences are usually on the lower side,” said Chitha.

Chitha further said that looking at the circumstances in which the offence was committed, it is proper that the court passes a meaningful sentence to incarcerate people like Msowoya to ensure that girls are protected in their communities.

“Even though there was one incident of defilement by the convict,   his conduct surrounding the commission of the offence, clearly indicates that he is a danger to the society, therefore, despite being young must be deterred by a long custodial sentence,” said Chitha.

Chitha therefore sentenced Msowoya to 21years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date of arrest.

Msowoya who was arrested on November 05, 2020, hails from Chakwera village in the area of T/A Kilupula in Karonga district.

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