The Senior Resident Magistrate Court’s in Mangochi district has on Wednesday, May 18, 2022, convicted and sentenced Lucia James, 19, to 5-years imprisonment with hard labor for stealing a one-month-old baby boy of her friend Laina Wisiki 34, after she pretended to babysit the little one contrary to section 167 of the Penal Code.
The court heard through Prosecutor, Sub Inspector Ezekiel Kalunga that, the convict and victim were once neighbors at Chimwala area until the convict moved to Mangochi Boma.
The convict on May 9, 2022, visited the victim after she heard that her friend has a newly born baby.
She found her friend occupied with house chores while carrying the baby on her back, Eventually, she asked to babysit the toddler.
Prosecutor Kalunga added that taking advantage of the situation, the convict vanished with the baby and was arrested a few days later at her home village in Makanjira where she fled with the child.
In mitigation, Lucia who voluntarily pleaded guilty asked the court to forgive her for committing the crime however prosecutor Kalunga illustrated that the convict organized the crime and put the life of the little one at risk by feeding him the milk which is not medically allowed.
Furthermore, the mother was traumatized for a few days and hence prayed for a stiffer sentence.
Passing the judgment, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state hence the 5-year sentence to serve as a lesson to other would-be offenders.
Lucia James hails from Chilanga Village, Traditional Authority Makanjira in Mangochi.