Grade 11 pupil jailed 20 years for defiling blind girl

Lusaka High Court

A TWENTY-ONE-YEAR-OLD grade 11 pupil of Nchelenge Basic School in Luapula Province has been sentenced to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour for defiling a six-year-old blind girl.
John Chisopo, of KT 65 Kambilombilo in Luanshya’s Mikonfwa Township, was
charged with defilement.

In passing the sentence last Friday in Ndola, Judge Mary Mulanda said it was sad that Chisopo decided to defile the girl despite knowing that she was physically challenged.

“I have heard what defence counsel has said in mitigation to the sentence but I note that the victim was of stunted growth from birth, further that she was dumb and blind but you decided to go ahead and defile her.

“These serve as aggravating factors. I have perused the record of the trial court and I am satisfied that the conviction was correct. I, therefore, sentence you to 20 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date you were arrested. You can appeal to the Supreme Court within 14 days of the sentence,” Ms Mulanda said.
In mitigation, defence counsel Chiti Kabende pleaded with the court to be lenient on the accused as he was a first offender who was also remorseful of his actions.

“My Lady, prior to his incarceration, the convict was a grade 11 pupil at Nchelenge Basic School. We pray that the court may exercise leniency on him,” Ms Kabende said.
On February 1 last year in Luanshya, Chisopo had unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16.
During trial, the court heard that on the material day around 12:00 hours, the victim was alone at home as her grandmother was at the graveyard attending a funeral.

Chisopo crept into the house where the victim was and defiled her.
Children playing outside heard the victim cry and shortly after, they saw Chisopo emerge from the house.
When the children went into the house to check on the victim, they discovered that she was bleeding on her private parts and crying.
When placed on his defence, the accused expressed ignorance on the matter.