THE Kitwe High Court has sentenced a 59-year-old HIV-positive man to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 12-year-old girl.
Kitwe High Court judge-in-charge Catherine Makungu, in passing sentence, observed that the fact that the convict knew about his HIV status but still decided to sexually assault the child was an aggravating circumstance.
Crispin Lupumpi, of house number 4250, Chikola in Chingola, was charged with defilement.
Particulars of the offence allege that Lupumpi, on April 2 this year, in Chingola, had carnal knowledge of a child who is under the age of 16.
Lupumpi admitted the charge when he took plea in the Chingola subordinate court.
He told the court that he had sex with the victim even though he knew she was a child.
“I knew what I did was wrong and I had no right to do it,” Lupumpi said.
According to the facts of the case, the victim went to Chabanyama in Chingola to visit her sister.
The victim did not find her sister and decided to wait for her at the neighbour’s house where Lupumpi lived, but the sister did not show up.
As it became late, the child slept at the neighbour’s house in the living room, and it was then that Lupumpi defiled her.
After being apprehended, medical tests revealed that Lupumpi was HIV-positive while the victim was negative.
When the matter came up for sentencing, senior state advocate Katongo Waluzimba urged the court to consider a stiffer penalty for the convict even though he was a first offender.
Mr Waluzimba observed that even though the victim tested negative to HIV, the court needed to take judicial notice that there is a window period for such types of infections and it is possible that later, she could be positive.
In mitigation, Lupumpi, through Legal Aid Board lawyer Mwendalubi Kapukutula, asked the court for leniency as the accused was a first offender who readily admitted the charge.
But Mrs Justice Makungu observed that Lupumpi’s HIV-positive status was an aggravating circumstance.
“I have considered what has been said in mitigation, and I have also considered the statement made in favour of stiffer punishment instead of the mandatory minimum. Although the victim was found to be HIV-negative, it is a notorious fact that such infections have a window period and later, the victim can be found to be positive,” she said.
Mrs Justice Makungu sentenced Lupumpi to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the time he was arrested.
“I have felt sorry for you because you are a first offender and you readily admitted the charge,” she said.