PRISCILLA CHIPULU, Lusaka
THE Lusaka High Court has sentenced a 20-year-old man to two years in prison with hard labour for killing his father after a drinking spree.
Stephen Chungu, a pupil at Matero Boys Secondary School, was charged with manslaughter after killing his biological father Stephen Chungu.
In passing sentence yesterday, High Court judge Bubile Lungu said she was compelled to pass judgment with mercy considering the fact that Chungu was a first offender who readily pleaded guilty to the charge to avoid wasting the court’s time, and was remorseful for his actions.
Ms Justice Lungu however said the offence is a very serious one which requires serious punishment for anyone who causes the death of another.
“I have seriously considered your mitigation that you are still quite youthful, with a chance for reformation, a first offender who, by law, deserves a second chance.
“You killed your own father whom your siblings and your mother will have no one to call father or husband. Psychological trauma cannot be ruled out and that on its own will serve as some form of punishment,” Ms Justice Lungu said.
Details in this matter are that on August 17, 2016, Chungu returned home from a drinking spree at about 21:00 hours and found his family members asleep. He then started playing music loudly.
This behaviour infuriated his father who cautioned him to stop playing the music loudly because he was disturbing those who were sleeping.
Chungu in a drunken state objected, saying he had the authority to do whatever he wanted as the house belonged to him.
He then started beating his father and when the uncle tried to stop the fight, he overpowered him and continued hitting his father until he fell to the ground and hit his head.
The court also heard that the deceased was then rushed to Chingwere Clinic where he was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Chungu was apprehended on August 24, 2016 and charged with manslaughter.
In mitigation, Chungu through his Legal Aid lawyers pleaded that he was 19 years, old when the offence, still youthful, and regretted his action. He pleaded guilty to the offence.
He said he had suffered psychological trauma during the period he had spent in incarceration, adding that he was a first offender who, at the time, was a pupil.