By MUBANGA NONDO
A 22-YEAR-OLD man of Pamodzi township in Ndola has been sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour by the Ndola Magistrateâ€™s Court for breaking into a security office at Ndola Central Hospital and stealing a laptop worth K3, 500.
Before Magistrate Eston KafunyiÂ was Gift Phiri, a general worker of house number 2021, who pleaded guilty to breaking into a building with intent to commit a felony.
Passing the sentence on Tuesday, Mr Kafunyi said Phiriâ€™s action to steal from a hospital is inhuman.
â€œI note that you are a first offender who readily pleaded guilty to the charge. But what you did was not good. Your actions were inhuman because your chose to go and steal from a hospital.
â€œEven if the laptop was recovered, I sentence you to 24 months imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date of your arrest,â€ Mr Kafunyi said.
He granted Phiri leave to appeal to the High Court within 14 days if he was not satisfied with the sentence.
But Phiri told the court that he did not know that he had stolen a laptop.
He submitted that he mistook the laptop for a radio because there was music playing on it.
He also denied breaking into the office because he found it open.
Phiri said he found the laptop on a chair while he was leaving the hospital where he had gone to take food for his sick relative.
But Mr Kafunyi asked Phiri whether the radio he had mistaken for the laptop was his and he responded that it did not belong to him.
Phiri on August 6 this year in Ndola, broke into a security office at Ndola Central Hospital (NCH) with intent to commit a felony therein and stole a laptop worth K3, 500, the property of Kennedy Tembo.
Facts before court were that on the fateful day, Mr Tembo, reported for work around 07:00 hours and briefly left the office at 09:00 hours.
The court heard that Mr Tembo left the door to his office closed when he went outside and that he discovered that his laptop was missing when he returned.
Mr Tembo reported the matter to Ndola Central Hospital Police Post and investigations were instituted which led to the arrest of Phiri in Pamodzi township.
By MUBANGA NONDO