A senior resident magistrate in Lilongwe has committed to the High Court sentencing of a defilement convict, Lovemore Amanze Phiri, who the court describes as “a worst offender” deserving “a long custodial sentence” beyond the jurisdiction of a magistrate’s court.

Senior Resident Magistrate Montfort Misunje cites the life expectancy calculation by Judge Redson Kapindu as the basis for the referral saying since the convict is aged 40, he would legally be expected to live a further 50 years which would constitute a life sentence.

“This Court does not have power to order such sentence. It is for this reason therefore that I commit the accused person to the High Court for sentencing,” says senior resident magistrate Montfort Misunje.

Lovemore Amanze Phiri, a clinical officer, was arrested on December 27th, 2021 in Mchinji for defiling a seven-year-old girl. Among other defences, the victim advanced arguments that he was drunk, was a first offender and of the age known to be easy to rehabilitate.

But senior resident Magistrate Montfort Misunje said his court would aim to protect the public more than rehabilitate the convict in this case.

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