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Man gets 19 years for possessing police tear gas

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Machinga First Grade Magistrate Court sitting at Nanyumbu has convicted and sentenced a 33 year old Isaac Mwapula to 19 years 9 months imprisonment with hard labour on three counts of robbery, theft and found in possession of teargas canister contrary to section 301, 278 and 329 of the Penal Code.



According to Constable Davie Sulumba who is police spokesperson in Machinga, presenting the facts in court, Station Prosecution officer for Machinga Police Inspector Richard Kandeya told the court that the suspect Isaac Mwapula alongside his friends who are still at large, on the night of 24-25th February, 2018 broke into the house of Mr William Joza of Ntholowa village, Traditional Authority Kawinga in the same district of Machinga and went away with cash amounting to K3,880,000.00 as well as properties worth K4,330,000.00

“He said the criminals who were armed with a rifle fired one bullet in the air before forcing the door open and they found the victim and his wife watching movies. They then demanded cash and threatened to kill them if they resisted and this made the victim's wife to reveal where the money was,” said the police.

On top of the cash, the suspects also went away with two bicycles, DVD player, radio and mobile phones just to mention but a few.

After the criminals had gone, the victim went to Ntaja Police to report the matter and was surprised to find one of the criminals who invaded his house and recognised him as Isaac Mwapula was already in the hands of the Police after he was arrested the same night for being found in possession of a Plasma screen which was stolen from the house of Mr Chancy Adam in 2017.

Following investigations, police recovered a bicycle which was stolen from Mr William Joza from Isaac and was also found with a Police tear gas canister. After a heated court battle that saw the Police parading four witnesses, Isaac was found guilty and consequently convicted.

And in his submission before sentenced, Inspector Kandeya pleaded with the court to impose a stiffer custodial sentence considering the seriousness of the offence and that not even a single penny was recovered; but in mitigation, Isaac asked for lenience.

Passing sentence on May 8th, 2018, First Grade Magistrate Jones Masula agreed with the state and sentenced Isaac to 14 years imprisonment with hard labour for robbery with violence. He said the sentence is to run consecutively with the previous sentence of 5 years for theft and 9 months for being found with a tear gas canister which Isaac and his co-accused Square James were handed by the very same court on March 20, 2018.

This means that Isaac Mwapula is to spend 19 years 9 months behind bars. Isaac comes from Ntholowa village, Traditional Authority Kawinga in the same district of Machinga.

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