By Ragina Chirwa MANA

Neno First Grade Magistrate Court has convicted and sentenced a 21-year-old man, Steven Lackford to nine years in imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a 14-year-old standard six learner.

State prosecutor, Golden Kakoma told the court that on March 10, 2023, the convict proposed the girl to be in a sexual relationship and the victim accepted as she was promised to be given K2000.

He said on March 19, 2023 the convict told the victim that he will meet her in the evening where she is residing.

“He knocked at the window where the victim slept and took her to his garden, defiled her and gave her K2000 as promised,” said Kakoma.

The state prosecutor said, the victim went back to the house around 4 o’clock in the morning and her mother asked where she was coming from and this is where she disclosed everything, and the mother later reported the case to the police which also led to the arrest Steven Lackford.

In mitigation, Lackford pleaded guilty to the offence and prayed for the court’s leniency, saying he looks after his deceased uncle’s children, his wife and he is the first offender but the prosecutor asked for stiffer sentence to deter other would-be offenders.

Passing judgment, first grade Margret Khobiri concurred with the state that cases of sexual abuse, especially defilement, require a stern punishment, hence sentenced Lackford to 9 years imprisonment with hard labour.

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