The Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court in Dowa has convicted and sentenced a 32-year-old man to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour for the offences of child abduction and defilement.
The court through state prosecutor Sub Inspector Ezara Bakili heard that the convict Masautso Mc Joy between the months of July to October 2020 at Chikusa Village in Dowa District abducted a 17-year-old girl child to his home without the consent from her parents.
The court further learnt that the convict and the victim were in a love affair almost a year and in course of their courtship, it was found that the girl was pregnant since she was in Standard 8 and this happened due to closure of school because of Covid-19 pandemic.
After the reopening of schools, the girl refused to go back to school after she discovered that she is pregnant and it was her mother who applied pressure on her to sit for Standard examinations without having knowledge that her daughter was pregnant.
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State prosecutor Sub Inspector Ezara Bakili further told the court that after sitting for her examinations, it is when the convict abducted her to his home where the two started living as a family.
Later, a rumour broke that the girl was married and this prompted the girl’s parents to withdraw her from the marriage, but two days later, the girl went back to the convict’s house and this is when it was realized that she had pregnant.
This led to the arrest of accused person and was cautioned and formally charge with abduction and defilement which he voluntarily admitted.
Appearing before court, the convict pleaded guilty to two charges of abduction and defilement contrary to Section 78 and 138 of the Penal Code respectively.
In mitigation, the convict asked the court for lenient sentence, saying he takes care of his old mother.
However, in his submission, state prosecutor Sub Inspector Ezara Bakili asked the court to mete out a stiff punishment to the accused person though he is a first offender.
Passing sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Cecilia Onsewa concurred with the state’s submission and sentenced the convict to 24 months IHL for the count of defilement and 18 months IHL for abduction.
The sentences will run concurrently.
Masautso Mc Joy comes from Kamkosi Village in the area of Traditional Authority Chiwere in Dowa District.