Court Error? Magistrate Pardons Defiler

The ruling by the Magistrate Court in Mulanje district to set free a male nurse who defiled teenage girl has outraged many Malawians who have since questioned the integrity of the court.

First Grade Magistrate Smart Maruwasa shocked the nation when on 9th July, 2019 discharged a nurse, Spencer Chingwengwe, who was convicted of defiling a 15-year old girl.

Chingwengwe, 32, defiled the girl on 5th July, 2018. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and the State paraded four witnesses against him.

The court convicted the nurse on 7th June, 2019 and revoked his bail and sent him to Mulanje Prison where he spent a month as he awaited sentencing.

However, when he appeared in court on Tuesday, lady luck smiled on him as the court discharged the case.

First Grade Magistrate Smart Maruwasa in his ruling quoted section 337 of Criminal Procedures and Evidence Code where despite proving the case, a convict can be discharged from the case if there were no aggravating factors at the time the offence was committed.

“Though defilement offence is felony but the victim was not injured in any way. Again as a convict, Chingwengwe has automatically lost his job and spending a month in prison, the court believes that the nurse has learnt a lesson,” ruled Maruwasa.

State though appeared unsatisfied with the ruling is yet to say whether it will appeal against the ruling or not. But most Malawians have taken it to social media to express their anger and disappointment with the ruling.

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