Chikwawa First Grade Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday sentenced a 20-year-old man to six years in jail for defiling his 14- year- old sister in-law.
Mark Philip was found guilty after he denied the charge which is in contravention of Section 138 of the Penal Code.
State Prosecutor, Sergeant George Hussein, disclosed in court that Phillip had been defiling the girl in his house which is located at Harrison Village in the area of Traditional Authority Kasisi in the district from January to April this year (2017).
“The accused used to stay with the victim as a sister in-law and later grew fond of defiling her under the pretence of marrying her in future as a second wife.
“He used to entice her with presents as a means to seal her mouth,” explained Hussein.
Sergeant Hussein told the court that things came to light in April when the suspect’s dirty games got exposed and led to his subsequent arrest.
However, Phillip denied any wrong doing prompting the state to bring three witnesses against him.
In his mitigation, Philip pleaded for leniency, claiming that by sexually assaulting his sister in-law, he did not know he was committing a crime.
First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu, however, quashed the accused and further bemoaned the rise in defilement cases in the district.
The magistrate, therefore immediately slapped the accused with six years imprisonment with hard labour to deter other would be offenders.
In related development, Ntchisi District has seen an increase in defilement cases in the first half of this year (2018) after registering 32 defilement cases that reflects 10 per cent increase from last year’s (2017) similar cases.
Ntchisi Police spokesperson, Gladson M’bumpha disclosed this on Wednesday in an interview with Malawi News Agency (Mana) in Lilongwe that last year during the same period, police registered less defilement cases in the district.
“Last year from January to June, we registered 29 defilement cases and this year during the same period, the district has registered 32 cases representing 10 per cent increase,” M’bumpha said.
He added that defilement cases are increasing in the area due to lack of civic education on issues related to them, and that community members and victims do not report such cases to police.
Further, he said defilement cases have worsened due to some cultural beliefs such as communities’ reliance on false guidance given by witchdoctors who sometimes claim one would boost their farm produce or have their HIV infection cured by sleeping with a minor.
“We have scenarios whereby victims are threatened by those who have committed the crime not to report the matter to police and this has made perpetrators to go unpunished and continue committing similar offences,” M’bumpha said.
The police spokesperson, therefore urged people in the district to report these cases to victim support unit and work hand in hand with authorities to reduce defilement cases in the district and country as a whole.
Meanwhile, the Ntchisi PRO has requested private and government institutions to help in sensitizing the communities on advantages of reporting defilement cases to police.
He has since appealed to all parents and guardians not to leave their children, especially young girls, with strangers in order to curb the vice.-MANA