Mangochi First Grade Magistrate court on Thursday convicted and sentenced Lifa Young, 24, an ex-convict, to another 14 years Imprisonment with Hard Labor (IHL) after finding him guilty of robbery, contrary to section 301 of the Penal Code.
According to the state, the convict also committed a similar robbery case in 2015.
The court learnt through Mangochi Police Station Prosecutor, Sub-Inspector Shadreck Wisiki that Young committed the offence during the night of 28 to 29 January this year at Chomba Village, in the area of Traditional Authority (T/A) Mponda where he robbed Chifundo Juakim K40, 000 cash, together with a cell phone valued at K190,000.
According to the state, Juakim was on his way home from Soko area where he was drinking and watching football, and upon reaching Admarc Market, Young, together with his accomplices who are still at large, demanded him to give out everything he possessed.
“The suspect took out a knife from his pocket and intimidated Juakim, before he robbed the victim of his cell phone and cash.”
“Later, the complainant reported the matter to Mangochi Police Station where he was given a search warrant to mobile phone service providers which resulted into the arrest of the accused person” said Wisiki.
Appearing before Magistrate Roy Kakutu, Young denied the accusations, saying that he was at a funeral ceremony in Lilongwe at the particular time.
This prompted the state to parade four witnesses who proved the case beyond reasonable doubt.
Making his submission before judgment on Thursday, state Prosecutor Shadreck Wisiki told the court that Young is not a first offender, as such, there is no need to be merciful with him when passing sentence, and prayed for stiffer punishment.
“He was once convicted by this same court on a similar offense in 2015 where he was sent to prison for 14 months. However he seems to have not reformed therefore the court should consider facts that he has benefited from the robbery, used violence and that the offense was committed by more than one person,” he said.
In mitigation Young asked for the court’s leniency, saying he has a wife and two children to look after.
Passing judgment, magistrate Roy Kakutu observed that Young is a habitual criminal and a threat to society and therefore needs to be sent to prison.
“The sentence I shall give is meant to ensure that you are reformed because you are a threat to the community. This will also be a warning to any other person who would want to commit similar offence.”
“I therefore sentenced you to 168 months Imprisonment with hard labor, starting from the day of conviction,” said Kakutu.
Young comes from Mtalimanja Village in the area of T/A Mponda in Mangochi district.