Mangochi Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court yesterday sentenced 20-year-old James George to 21 years imprisonment with hard labor for raping his 14-month-old stepdaughter.
Mangochi Public relations officer Amina Tepani Daudi said that the court through state prosecutor Sergeant Anthony Mchiswe heard that the convict married the child’s mother in July this year
On September 6, 2021, the wife left the victim asleep and went to draw water at a nearby borehole.
On her way back, she was informed by her close relative that her husband was bathing the victim but the child had blood oozing from her genital.
Prosecutor Mchiswe added that the mother rushed home and found the victim crying uncontrollably and unattended to with a wound in the genital area.
The matter was reported at Masuku Police Unit three days later where the victim was given a referral letter for medical attention and the results from Mkumba Health Centre confirmed that the child had been raped.
Appearing in court, George pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement, prompting the state to parade four witnesses who testified against him.
In mitigation, he asked for the court’s leniency, saying he was taking care of his visually impaired grandmother and would suffer if sent to prison, but prosecutor Mchiswe said such cases are on the increase and are endangering a girl child in the district.
Passing judgement, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state, hence the 21-year sentence to serve as a lesson to other would be offenders.
George, 20, hails from Namaninga Village Traditional Authority Bwananyambi in Mangochi.