By MUBANGA NONDO
NDOLA magistrate Eston Kafunyi has sentenced a 24-year-old man of Pamodzi township in Ndola to three years imprisonment with hard labour for breaking into a bottle store and stealing property worth K10,000.
Mr Kafunyi last Friday convicted Sumaili Phiri of house number 2221, after he pleaded guilty to breaking into a building and committing a felony therein.
Phiri was jointly charged with Ernest Siame, 35, of house number CHT 3998, Chifubu township in Ndola who denied the charge
Trial in Siameâ€™s case has commenced.
Passing the sentence, Mr Kafunyi said such cases are prevalent in Ndola and that it is the duty of the court to deter would-be offenders.
â€œI note that the accused is a first offender who admitted the charge without wasting the courtâ€™s time, as such he deserves leniency. I have also taken what has been said in mitigation.
â€œI sentence you to 36 months imprisonment with hard labour with effect from August 6, this year, the day on which you were arrested,â€ Mr Kafunyi said.
He granted Phiri leave to appeal to the High Court within 14 days.
It was alleged that Phiri and Siame on August 6 this year in Ndola, jointly and whilst acting together with others unknown, broke into Bommick bottle store and stole a television set, fridge, speaker, amplifier, 18 bottles of Castle Lager, seven packets of super shake, 35 bottles of Bols brandy and a gambling machine altogether worth K10,000, the property of Fregon Kabwe.
In mitigation, Phiri pleaded with the court to be lenient on him because he is married and has four children.
Facts before the court read by public prosecutor Innocent Kamunga were that Mr Kabwe secured his bottle store after knocking off .
The court heard that the following day around 06:00 hours, Mr Kabwe found that someone had broken into the bottle store and some property was missing.
Mr Kabwe reported the matter to Chifubu Police Station and Phiri was arrested after police instituted investigations
Phiri admitted the charge when he was questioned in connection with the offence and the property was recovered.
By MUBANGA NONDO