Priest escapes with fine for causing death



A FORTY-SIX-YEAR-OLD Catholic priest who last week pleaded guilty to one count of causing death by dangerous driving has been fined K2,500.
Kabwe High Court Judge Elita Mwikisa fined Mariusz Skowron after he pleaded guilty to the charge.
The judge told Skowron that as a man of God, he was expected to drive with care and that next time he appears in court over the same offence she would have no option but to send him to prison.
The priest caused the death of Rabson Siwila on January 28, this year while driving a Nissan Hard Body registration number ABX 4039.
Particulars of the offence presented by assistant senior State advocate Chali Hambayi showed that on the day in question, the accused hit Mr Siwila who was cycling outside the main road.
Ms Hambayi said after the accident which happened near Chindwin High School in Kabwe, the priest did not stop for fear of being lynched but reported himself to police.
In mitigation, his lawyer Mulilo Kabesha from the Kabesha and Company, asked for lenience saying his client was remorseful.
Mr Kabesha said his client was a servant of God at St. Mary’s Catholic Parish in Kabwe, who was deeply sorry about the accident.
He said though contributing towards the funeral expenses would not bring back the life of the deceased, the family would also be compensated through the insurance firm in the sum of K25,000.
In passing sentence, Ms Justice Mwikisa said it was sad that as a result of increased cases of road traffic accidents many lives were being lost.
She said the fine should be paid before September 15, 2013 or the accused would go to jail for nine months.
“For now, I am not going to send you to prison but will have your licence endorsed so that if you commit a similar offence in future, traffic officers will know that you are a second offender and next time you appear before court I will have no option but to send you to prison,” she said.