2 February 2013

Zambia: High Court Ups Abductor's Sentence

A MAN of Chingola has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment with hard labour for abducting a child.

High Court Judge Isaac Chali upheld the conviction of Morgan Chilufya by the lower court and imposed a seven-year jail sentence on him.

Chilufya, 26, was sentenced to two years imprisonment by the magistrate's court which the High court replaced with a seven-year jail term.

He was charged with two counts, one of abduction of a child and another of defilement which occurred on January 9, last year.

Chilufya admitted the charge and indicated that he was not allowed to get the child from her parents but that he took her because she was his girlfriend.

In sentencing him, Mr Justice Chali said all the elements reviewed the offence of abduction and that the conviction was well founded by the lower court.

He said the sentence of two years was wrong in law because at the time the offence was committed, the sentence had already been increased by the legislature.

"I therefore set aside the sentence of two years and sentence the convict to seven years imprisonment with hard labour from the date of arrest," said the judge.

The judge, however, set aside the conviction of Chilufya on a defilement charge and ordered for a re-trial by a subordinate court.

He said judgment on the charge of defilement rendered a nullity and, therefore, he was setting aside the conviction.

Mr Justice Chali said he found that the prosecution had failed to adduce evidence of the girl's age from the mother.

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