A RESIDENT of Chipata’s Referendum compound was on Friday sentenced to three years imprisonment with hard labour for burglary and theft.
Chipata senior resident magistrate Boniface Mwala jailed Stephen Banda, who broke into the house of Kasalika Mtonga and stole a blanket and trousers, all valued at K370.
Facts of the matter were that around 20:00 hours on April 2, 2018, Mtonga had an altercation with his wife and he decided to sleep in the living room.
Later, Mtonga decided to go and take a bath but on his return he found that his blanket and trousers were missing but his wife told him that she did not get them.
Within a short time, he heard people shouting “thief” “thief” within the neighbourhood and when he went to check, the said thief had his blanket.
It was at this point that the matter was reported to police leading to the subsequent arrest of Banda.
In mitigation, Banda pleaded for leniency from the court because prison was a bad place to live in.
He said he was still in pain because of the beatings he received when he was caught as well as the bad prison conditions.
Magistrate Mwala told Banda that he would exercise lenience because he was a first offender.
“This offence is a nuisance here in Chipata. It is also a felony, despite the value of the things that were stolen. I, therefore, sentence you to three years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the day of arrest,” he ruled.
Earlier, magistrate Mwale recused himself from handling Banda’s other case of attempting rape because he was already handling his burglary
and theft case.
The attempted rape case was however taken to principal resident magistrate for reallocation.
In the same court, two people who are charged with trafficking in 2.8 kilogrammes of marijuana pleaded not guilty to the charge.
The two are Jason Mbewe of Mchini compound and Chifson Mwale of Mchenga compound.