THE Ndola High Court has sentenced a 29-year-old man to 15 years in jail with hard labour for defiling a 14-year-old physically challenged girl.
Justice Yvonne Chembe last Thursday meted out the punishment on Andrew Chalwe, 29, unemployed of house number 3A in Chipulukusa who was charged with defilement.
Particulars of the matter are that on January 15 this year, in Ndola, Chalwe had unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16.
During trial, the court heard that the victim was alone at home on the material day around 16.00 hours when Chalwe went and got her from her wheelchair which was stationed on the veranda.
The court heard that Chalwe took the victim to her mother’s bedroom where he defiled her. While the now Chalwe was in the act with the victim, her elder sister came and was surprised to find that her sister was not in the wheelchair where she had left her.
The victim’s sister then checked in her mother’s bedroom and as she drew nearer, she heard voices, and when she asked who it was, Chalwe answered.
The court heard that the victim’s sister shouted for help, forcing Chalwe to run away with his pair of trousers sagging.
In cross examination, the victim said she could not scream for help, because her defiler covered her mouth with hands.
And in his defence, Chalwe elected to give evidence on oath but did not call any witnesses. He denied having defiled the victim but admitted going to her house to look for the victim’s elder sister who happened to be his girlfriend but had since gotten married.
In mitigation, defence counsel Ethel Banda pleaded for the court’s leniency, saying the accused was a first offender and was remorseful for his deeds.
“I have read through the record from the court below. I have also considered the mitigation on the convict’s behalf by the learned defence counsel. The minimum sentence for this offence is 15 years. I accordingly sentence you to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date you were arrested and taken into custody,” Justice Chembe said.