Chikwawa First Grade Magistrate Court on Monday convicted and sentenced 43-year-old Wonderford Thamalaka to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour for defilement.
The court heard through Chikwawa Police Station Prosecutor, Sergeant Emmanuel Namarwa, that in April, 2021, Thamalaka had been indulging in sexual activities with a 12-year-old girl at Timbenawo Village in the district.
However, Thamalaka pleaded not guilty and denied the charge of defilement when he appeared before the court.
The offence of defilement contravenes Section 138 of the Penal Code, as such, the state paraded four witnesses who testified against him.
In his submission, Namarwa prayed for a stiff custodial sentence to the accused considering that defilement is a serious crime.
Namarwa observed that cases of defilement in Chikwawa were on the rise, noting that a custodial sentence would deter other would-be offenders.
In mitigation, Thamalaka asked the court for a lenient sentence considering that he looks after his family besides paying school fees for his children who are in secondary school.
However, passing sentence, First Grade Magistrate Gladstone Chirundu, concurred with the state on the need for a stiff penalty for Thamalaka and therefore, slapped him with a 14- year custodial sentence with hard labour.
Thamalaka hails from Sande Village in Traditional Authority Maseya in Chikwawa.