Cancer detecting gadget bandits jailed 9 years
The Balaka Second Grade Magistrate Court has convicted and sentenced Geoffrey Chinyama and Laiton Juma to nine years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) for being found guilty of theft of a cancer-detecting gadget, contrary to section 282 of the Penal Code.
State Prosecutor, Sub Inspector Ellias Chitsulo, told the court that Balaka Police received information that Dr Briony Acroyd’s portable ultra-sound machine, which is used to diagnose breast cancer, was stolen from a car on February 5 2018 when the medical expert was travelling to Mangochi to attend to patients showing signs of cancer.
Chitsulo said, on February 11, a team of detectives from Ulongwe Police received a tip that someone was keeping a laptop and, in the course of following up, the officers arrested Chinyama and Juma and managed to recover the ultra sound machine on the same day.
Chinyama and Juma were convicted on their own plea of guilty.
Chitsulo asked the court to mete out a stiff sentence considering circumstances in which the crime was committed.
“They came as well-wishers and were paid $100 for helping the doctor out of the mud but they were so ungrateful that their act painted a very bad picture of Malawians. The offence is very serious and the machine stolen might have been used to save someone’s life,” Chitsulo said.
In mitigation, the two said they are breadwinners; hence, they asked the court to be soft on them.
But Second Grade Magistrate Victor Sibu concurred with the State, and sentenced the convicts to nine years IHL to deter would-be-offenders.
Chinyama, 31, and Juma, 22, are from Nsaliwa Village, Traditional Authority Kalembo in Balaka District.
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