The Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate’s Court on Thursday convicted and sentenced 35 year-old Marko Nota to 18 years imprisonment for defiling and impregnating a thirteen year-old girl contrary to Section 138 of the Penal Code.
The court heard that Nota, who owns a shop at Manyowe Township in Blantyre, on January 28, 2017 around 7pm followed the girl after she had bought milk from his shop. He then dragged her to a nearby bush and defiled her.
He later gave her K1000 to silence her.
However, two months later, her parents discovered that she was pregnant and after interrogation she revealed the ordeal. She later miscarried.
The state through prosecutor Martin Thulu pleaded with the court to give the convict a stiffer sentence despite being a first offender arguing that the offence was very serious as it is punishable by life imprisonment as a maximum sentence.
Thulu added that aside from the pain she went through during miscarriage; the victim suffered violence as during the commissioning of the offence the convict covered her mouth with his hands.
He added: “The convict betrayed the trust of the community in which he was living in as most members of the community had reposed their trust in him.”
In mitigation, Nota who pleaded not guilty to the offence asked the court to be lenient with him for he was first offender and bread winner.
However, passing judgment, Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Kandulu described Nota as a threat which needed to be removed from society.
Kandulu expressed disappointment that Nota did not even show remorsefulness during trial or apologize to the victim and her parents when he was in the court.
Commenting on the matter, assistant Social Welfare Officer for Blantyre Chikumbutso Salifu, hailed the judgment adding that it will act as a deterrent to would be offenders of cases of defilement which he said are rampant and prevalent across Blantyre.
According to Salifu, last month alone, his office registered 45 defilement cases.
“Things have gone haywire in the district, we are deeply concerned, I believe if all courts were giving such stiff sentences, these cases would have decreased,” he said.
Nota hails from Kungacha village in the area of Traditional Authority Ndamera in Nsanje.