The First Grade Magistrate’s Court in Rumphi on Monday sentenced 42-year old Mavuto Mhango to 12 years in prison for breaking into his neighbour’s house where he s_xually assaulted the neighbor and chopped off her finger.

Mhango was until his conviction working as a watchman at Rumphi District Hospital.

The court sitting before Magistrate Radson Gamariel heard from police prosecutor Andrew Singini that Mhango broke into the house of a woman who was his neighbour on November 24, 2020 at around 23: 00 hours.

Mhango broke the door and entered into the house while the owner was asleep.

Hearing the noise, the woman woke up. However, Mhango grabbed her on the neck while the other hand was touching her private parts. In an endeavour to rescue herself, the victim beat Mhango up. In retaliation, Mhango chopped her finger.

The victim later alerted the police. The suspect was apprehended and charged with the offences of burglary, indecent assault and grievous harm which contravenes Sections 309 (2), 137 (1) and 238 of the Penal Code respectively.

Appearing in court, Mhango pleaded guilty to charges levelled against him.

In submission, the state through Sub Inspector Singini pleaded with the court to mete out a stiffer sentence to deter would-be offenders.

Singini further said that the offence committed by the convict is serious in nature. He further claimed that the convict planned to commit the offence.

Singini also narrated that the acts by the convict have not only left the victim traumatized, but also left her with permanent body damage.

In mitigation, the convict prayed for lenient sentence, claiming that he is a public servant and that his retirement is due as such, his family would languish in his absence once jailed.

Magistrate Radson Gamariel bemoaned that cases of victimising females are becoming rampant in the country.

Gamariel observed that the state had proved the required justification. He concurred with the state that the circumstances surrounding the offences were aggravated, as such, he deserves to be punitively rewarded.

The court further disputed the convict’s mitigation, claiming that the convict needed to consider them before committing the offences.

Magistrate Gamariel described the behaviour of the convict as wild. He further said that the victim indeed suffered permanent loss of her finger and experienced agony for months yet never committed any offence against Mhango.

He then passed the verdict by sentencing Mhango to 12 years, 3 years and 7 years imprisonment with hard labour for the first, second and third counts respectively. The sentences will run concurrently.

Mhango hails from Endingeni Village in the area of Senior Chief Mwankhunikira in Rumphi district.

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