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Car batteries ‘start’ father’s prison life

NDOLA magistrate Emmanuel Malenga has sentenced a 26-year-old man of Old Twapia township to 30 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing two car batteries worth over K2,000.
This is in a case in which Ben Phiri of house number 102 pleaded guilty to theft.
Passing the sentence last Thursday, Mr Malenga hoped that Phiri would reflect on his actions during his incarceration so that he can be a good citizen in future.
“Looking at your age, I am sure you can work and earn a living instead of resorting to illegitimate means of earning a living. I have, however, noted that you are a first offender who readily pleaded guilty to the charge hence I will exercise leniency on you.
“I sentence you to 30 months imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date you were arrested,” Mr Malenga said.
Phiri, on January 5 this year in Ndola, stole two batteries worth K2, 200 from Gabriel Mwansa
In mitigation, Phiri asked the court to be lenient on him because he is on antiretroviral therapy and he looks after his two children after the death of his wife.
Facts before court were that on the fateful morning around 02:00 hours, Mr Mwansa was awakened by some noise outside and he saw someone tampering with his two vehicles when he peeped through the window.
Mr Mwansa said he noticed that Phiri had removed the batteries from both vehicles.
Phiri ran away after realising that Mr Mwansa had spotted him.
The court heard that Mr Mwansa gave chase and apprehended Phiri and handed him over to police officers at Twapia Police Post.
Phiri admitted stealing the two batteries after being warned and cautioned.