Woman Jailed for Concealing Birth
A 23-year-old woman in Mangochi will spend the next 5 years behind bars after a magistrate court convicted and sentenced her for concealing the birth of a child and abandoning a child at birth contrary to sections 232 and 232 (A) of the Penal Code respectively.
According to Sergeant Alice Sichali, Public Relations Officer for Monkey Bay Police Station, the woman Catherine George, 23, was on Friday, 17th September 2021, sentenced to 5 years for the first charge and 2 years the second one, both to run concurrently.
She said the court heard through prosecutor Sub Inspector Mary Mbutuka, that on 11th September, 2021, George went to a nearby bush where she delivered a baby boy and abandoned him there.
“On 13th September 2021, a certain man went into the bush to fetch firewood where he heard a baby crying. After a thorough search, he found a one-day old baby unattended and uncovered,” explained Sichali.
The man rushed to the village where he informed people who took the baby and reported the matter to Monkey Bay Police Station where the baby was referred to the hospital, according to Sichali.
She said two days later, a well-wisher tipped the police the identities of the woman behind the incident and admitted to be behind the ordeal after police interrogation and when she appeared in court.
In submission, Sub Inspector Mary Mbutuka asked the court to give her a stiffer punishment saying the behavior the convict displayed could not be tolerated.
In mitigation, George asked the court for leniency saying she is too poor to support the child since her husband left her with another child.
Passing judgment, Senior Resident Magistrate Rodrick Michongwe concurred with the state and slapped her with five years IHL for the first count of concealing birth of a child and two years IHL on a second count of abandonment of a child. The sentences will run concurrently.
According to Sichali, George hails from Mpeta Village, Traditional Authority Nakumba in Mangochi district.