Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Monday, April 19, 2021 convicted and sentenced Patrick Joseph, 37, to 19 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling his 8-year-old stepdaughter.

During court proceedings, Mangochi Police prosecutor Sub inspector Skeva Munyapa told the court that Joseph, a tobacco farmer, married the victim’s mother when she (victim) was 5 years old.

During the month of March 2021, the convict visited a witch doctor to seek traditional medical attention in order to boost his agricultural business and he was ordered to sleep with a virgin for the rituals.

Prosecutor Munyapa added that, during the morning of March 20, 2021, Joseph obeyed the instructions by defiling his step daughter in the house before following his wife to the garden to plant sweet potato stems.

Same day in the afternoon, the victim’s mother was astonished to see her daughter having difficulties in walking while coming back from school.

After being quizzed, the victim narrated the ordeal.

The matter was reported at Chilipa Police Unit where she was issued with a medical report form and the results from Chilipa Health Centre showed that the victim was defiled.

Appearing in court, the accused pleaded guilty to the charge.

In mitigation, Joseph asked for the court’s leniency, saying that he is a first offender and apologized,  but prosecutor Munyapa prayed for a stiffer sentence, saying such cases are on the increase in the district which put girls’ lives under threats.

Furthermore, as a parent, the convict was supposed to protect her.

Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Joshua Nkhono slapped him with 19 year jail term to deter other would be offenders.

Joseph hails from Chipote Village, Sub Traditional Authority Kachenga in Balaka.

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