A JUNIOR pastor at Chingola’s Evangel Assemblies of God has been sentenced to five years with hard labour for manslaughter.
This is in a case in which Floyd Pule, 32, of Flat 37B, Kitwe road in Chingola’s town centre, was facing a murder case.
The Ndola High Court, however, acquitted Pule on the murder charge but convicted him of manslaughter.
It was alleged that Pule on February 10, 2015, in Chingola, murdered Bahati Kabaghe, but he denied the charge.
Earlier during trial, Ndola High Court judge Mary Mulanda found Pule with a case to answer for allegedly murdering his pregnant wife barely 10 months after their wedding and put him on his defence.
When the matter came up for judgment on Friday, judge Mulanda acquitted Pule on the murder charge but sentenced him to five years for manslaughter effective April 15, 2015.
“You are acquitted on the charge of murder but convicted for manslaughter, effective April 15, 2015, the day of your arrest. You have 14 days to appeal to the Supreme Court if you are not satisfied,” judge Mulanda said in her judgment.
During trial, Vanessa Kalumba, Pule’s neighbour, narrated how she got scared and ran away after realising that Kabaghe, who was eight months pregnant, was unconscious.
She told the court that on the fateful morning, she found Kabaghe unconscious in her living room next to a speaker, which was stained with blood.
Kalumba said Pule then allegedly asked her if she could help resuscitate his wife.
“When I got to the house, the accused was shaking the deceased’s body but she was not responding, so I lifted her head up. I noticed that there was blood oozing from her mouth. I also noticed that her tongue, which was protruding from the mouth, was swollen, hence I put her head down and ran away because I was scared after seeing that,” she said.
Kalumba told the court that she then rushed out of the house and informed her husband about the incident and they both went to Pule’s house.
She said when they reached the house, she quickly rushed in to cover Kabaghe because she was naked.
Kalumba said efforts to resuscitate Kabaghe failed and she was pronounced dead on arrival at Nchanga South Hospital.
And Kitwe Central Hospital pathologist Dr Sadkovaska Olga, 49, who conducted the second postmortem on April 15, 2015, told the court that the body had bruises both in the middle and on the front part of the skull.
He testified that this could have been caused by either a fall to the ground or as a result of being hit by someone.
Dr Olga told the court that the bruises in the middle part of the skull, however, indicated that Kabaghe was likely hit on the head.