Lilongwe Principal Resident Magistrate’s Court on Monday sentenced Frank Benard, 29, to two years imprisonment with hard labour for abducting a 12-year-old girl through magic.
According to Lilongwe Police Deputy Spokesperson Foster Benjamin, the court heard through State Prosecutor, Superintendent Patrick Chambuluka, that Benard, a resident of Mtandile Township, travelled to Phwetekere Market in Area 36 on May 25 this year.
“Benard approached two girls who were loitering around the market where he produced a bottle and sprinkled some charms on one of the girls’ face.
“Immediately, he started making his way back home and the victim followed him up while under a spell,” he said.
The court further learnt that Benard led the abductee to a strange woman’s house in Mtandire after an approximately 15-kilometre walk.
The victim spent a night and managed to escape the following morning and got stranded along the way.
Some well-wishers took her to the nearby City Mall Police Unit before she led the police to her abductor.
In his trial, Benard admitted to child abduction, contrary to Section 78 Sub-Section 1 of Child, Care, Protection and Justice Act of 2010.
In his mitigation, he asked for forgiveness, saying he would never cast any spell with intent to abduct.
However, Chambuluka prayed that the court should hand the accused a lengthy jail term, arguing he was answering a serious case which attracts 10 years in jail as a maximum sentence.
The state prosecutor further submitted that Benard had subjected the victim, who is in Standard 3, to mental torture and failed to safeguard her rights hence deserving a harsh punishment.
In his sentence, Principal Resident Magistrate Viva Nyimba concurred with the state and condemned Benard’s strange acts.
He, however, took into account that the accused was a first offender and went on to convict and slap him with two years’ imprisonment with hard labour.
Benard hails from Kachimanga Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Makwangwala in Ntcheu District.