By CHINTU MALAMBO
A JUVENILE who was convicted for murdering his friend at JCS bar last year has pleaded with Lusaka High Court to give him a suspended sentence as he fears turning into a hardcore criminal in case he is sent to a reformatory.
Meanwhile, a radiologist from the University Teaching Hospital Veronica Sichizya gave the court the convict’s age determination report to the affect that he was between the age of 18 and 25 years.
On April 6, 2019 the juvenile murdered Sebastian Lungu 20 of Mtendere East by stabbing him in the neck with a piece of broken bottle during a drinking spree at JCS night club at around 21 hours in Lusaka’s Longacres area after a fight.
During trial, the State called five witnesses who testified against the juvenile.
In defence, the juvenile denied killing his friend and claimed that he could not remember what happened on the material date because he blacked out.
Judge Ennesie Banda-Bobo convicted the juvenile and ruled that his defence of intoxication was not sufficient since there was no medical statement produced in court to prove the claim.
When the matter came up for clarity on the age of the offender, the radiologist who examined the juvenile said demonstrated to the court using x-ray magazine that were taken from the juvenile, indicating that his bones showed that he was between 18 and 25 years.
And a probation officer from Social Welfare, Daniel Banda pleaded with the court to forgive the juvenile.
He said there was need for the convict to undergo serious counselling at Katombora Reformatory school where he can continue his education of he so wishes. But the juvenile’s lawyer Nathaniel Inambao in mitigation told Judge Banda-Bobo not to consider the social welfare’s recommendation of taking the juvenile to reformatory because reformatories in Zambia have not achieved the purpose they are established for. “What happens is that juveniles who are sent there come out as hardcore criminals who end up committing heinous offenses,” Mr Inambao said.
The juvenile through his lawyer asked the court to use its discretion and give him a suspended sentence where his parents will give him security and guidance.
The court has however, said it will pass sentence on April 29 this year.
By CHINTU MALAMBO