A magistrate court in Nkhata Bay has sentenced a 22-year-old man, Martin Kaunda, to 21 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling his niece.
The convict, according to Nkhata Bay police publicist Kondwani James, hails from Gwazera Village in Traditional Authority Mkumbira.
State Prosecutor from Nkhata Bay Police Station, Andrew Singini, told the court that Kaunda had defiled the girl several times until her mother discovered it on June 25 this year.
The mother said the 12-year-old girl used to cry when taking a bath and it was discovered that her private parts were swollen.
The matter was reported to the police, leading to the arrest of Kaunda. He was subsequently charged with defilement.
The convict denied the charge levelled against him. The State paraded four witnesses to prove its case against him.
Singini asked the court to give a stiffer sentence to deter would-be offenders.
But Kaunda prayed for leniency, saying he was under the influence of the devil when the committed the crime.
Passing the sentence, Senior Resident Magistrate Issa Maulidi dismissed Kaunda's mitigating factors and sentenced him to 21 years imprisonment with hard labour.