Liwonde First Grade Magistrate’s Court in Machinga has convicted and sentenced a 54-year-old man, Shabalala Maulana, for 14 years for defiling a four-year-old girl which is contrary to Section 138 of the Penal Code.
Police Prosecutor, Sergeant Gift Kalamula told the court the accused committed the offence on February 21, 2020 at Josamu Village in Traditional Authority Ntumbwinda in the district.
Kalamula told the court the victim was going to her friend’s house and on her way she was invited by convict to his maize field.
“The victim refused but the offender convinced her that he wanted to give her some green maize. Maulana then dragged the innocent girl into his maize field where he undressed and defiled her,” he said.
Kalamula added that the victim’s uncle, Mohamed Makina caught the offender red-handed in the course of committing the offence.
He also said when the uncle asked what was happening, Maulana never responded and instead fled the scene.
It was also learnt in court that the matter was referred to Chikweo Health Centre where medical examination revealed that the victim was defiled.
The state witness said Maulana, who pleaded not guilty and denied the offence of defilement, was arrested on the same day he committed the crime.
He, therefore, asked the court to mete out a stiffer punishment that would serve as a lesson to would-be offenders.
Kalamula further told the court that defilement cases were on the rise in the district, noting that every month Machinga registered a defilement case.
“Your worship, the other worrisome thing is that in most cases young girls are victimised by their own relatives; like in the case of Maulana who defiled his own granddaughter,” he said.
In mitigation, Maulana asked the court to exercise lenience when passing sentence on grounds that he is the bread-winner for his family.
However, First Grade Magistrate Jones Masula said defilement is a serious offence which attracts a stiff custodial sentence. He, therefore, sentenced Maulana to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour.
Maulana comes from Josamu Village in Traditional Authority Ntumbwinda in the district.