By Enerst Mfunya MANA

Mangochi First Grade magistrate Court on Wednesday convicted and sentenced Henry Vasco, 29, to 10 years imprisonment with hard labour after the court found him guilty of defiling a 14-year-old girl.

The court learnt through Mangochi Police Station Prosecution Officer, Amos Mwase, that Vasco defiled the girl (name withheld) on April 16, 2023 in Traditional Authority (T/A) Namabvi.

Mwase told the court that the victim who is in Standard 6 was at a market, selling Banana fritters (Zitumbuwa) when the accused called her to his house to buy fritters worthy K300 and advised her to come back later and get money.

“When she went back to collect money as she was about to get out of the house, Vasco grabbed her denying her access to go out and raped her,” Mwase said.

Adding, “The victim was found by community members crying outside Vascos house and they took her to the mother where she narrated the whole ordeal. The mother reported the matter to Mangochi police who arrested the accused person.”

Appearing before magistrate Roy Kakutu, Vasco pleaded not guilty to the charge of defilement but admitted that he had sexual intercourse with the victim saying they were lovers.

The convict further said he was not aware of the girl’s age but her physical appearance made him assume that she was over the age of 16 and this is what prompted the state to parade four witnesses who proved the case.

Passing judgement, Kakutu said such offences are common in the district which he said means that communities do not want to learn from their friends who are sent to prison for similar offences.

He emphasised that the court will continue to send people who commit such offences to prison for a long period until they change their mindset.

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