Chipata man gets K1,000 fine for causing son’s death


THE Chipata High Court on Friday fined a 72-year old man K1,000 for causing the death of his son.
Before Lusaka judge Gertrude Chawatama, who is sitting in Chipata, was Dickson Sakala who stood charged with manslaughter.
Facts of the matter were that Sakala caused the death of his son Monde in April 2017.
According to the facts, on April 18, 2017 the accused went to sleep after loading his gun but later heard his son getting the firearm.
Sakala followed the deceased to grab it and in the ensuing struggle, a shot went off, hitting Monde in the shoulder.
He was rushed to Chipata Central Hospital where he died.
On April 19, 2017 Eastern Province police commissioner Alex Chilufya told reporters that Sakala shot dead his son in his sleep because he was allegedly tired of taking care of him alone and his older children were not there to relieve him.
In mitigation, senior Legal Aid counsel John Phiri said Sakala was a first offender who readily pleaded guilty to the offence without wasting the court’s time.
Phiri said the convict was remorseful for causing the death of his own son whom he had raised for 27 years.
He asked the court to take note that there were no aggravating circumstances in the matter.
Phiri said the convict told him that he had an urgent need to retrieve the gun because the deceased was mentally retarded and he could have harmed himself and other people.
He said Sakala was advanced in age and at the same time was diagnosed with various complications that included anaemia, abdominal pains and was being treated for possible dementia due to old age.
Phiri asked the court to consider what was said in his detailed mitigation when imposing a sentence.
Judge Chawatama said she took into consideration the mitigation, adding that the offence was serious.
She said the fact that Sakala caused the death of his own son, he would live with for the rest of his life.
Judge Chawatama said the law provides for a custodial sentence or a fine in such matters and opted for a fine of K1,000 to be paid before June 30, 2018 or in default three months simple imprisonment.

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