Lester Duncan, 90, from Dedza District may celebrate his 111th birthday in jail after Senior Resident Magistrate Clemence Chimwenda sentenced him to 21 years imprisonment for defiling his two granddaughters aged 10 and 11.
The resident magistrate delivered the sentence at Maonde Satellite Court, some 40 kilometres west of Dedza Boma, during a mobile court session aimed at dealing with cases of gender-based violence (GBV) in the country’s hard-to-reach areas.
He said Duncan deserved a stiffer sentence despite his old age emphasising that the convict needed to be a model to the community.
Said Chimwenda: “The 90-year-old was supposed to protect the victims not abusing them, especially being their grandparent.”
During the same session, the magistrate also sentenced Charles Patson, 29 and James Samuel, 42, to seven and 12 years, respectively, for raping a psychiatric patient aged 17 and for raping a 17-year-old girl, respectively.
The three GBV cases in Dedza are part of some 50 cases the Judiciary targeted to dispose of in 13 districts through court circuits, courtesy of the European Union-funded Chilungamo Programme.
The mobile courts sat in hard-to-reach areas of Chitipa, Rumphi, Mzimba in the North, Mchinji, Dowa, Dedza in the Central Region, Machinga, Balaka and Ntcheu in the East, Mulanje, Mwanza, Chikwawa and Nsanje in the south from October 4 to 14, 2021.
“Through this programme, the court is now closer to the people, which is critical,” said Chimwenda.
High Court and Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal registrar Gladys Gondwe said court circuits enable citizens in hard-to-reach areas to access justice.