Mulanje Magistrate’s Court has sentenced a 38-year-old man to 18 years imprisonment for defiling a 13-year-old girl in the district.
State prosecutor Kelvin Lichapa told the court that the man (name concealed to protect the identity of the victim) defiled the girl on January 8 2021.
He said after the incident, the man escaped to Mozambique and was arrested in October last year when he came back.
In court, the man pleaded not guilty, but the State paraded four witnesses and proved the case.
In mitigation, he pleaded for leniency, saying he was a breadwinner.
But in his submission, Lichapa prayed for a stiff sentence to deter would-be offenders.
In her ruling, senior resident magistrate Shahida Haneef Bakili, agreed with the State and handed the convict a custodial sentence.
Recently, the country has registered a rise in defilement cases, a situation Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare Patricial Kaliati attributed to more reporting on the vice.