Kalulushi man jailed for killing suspected thief
High Court Judge Isaac Chali sent to jail James Kasongo 28, of house number 653 chibuluma Township after convicting him of causing the death of Leonard Lakapu who residents accused of being a thief.
Kasongo was earlier charged with murder which was reduced to manslaughter. He pleaded guilty to the charge.
In sentencing him, Mr Justice Chali said he had considered the mitigation submitted by Kasongo’s Lawyer that he was the first offender.
He also considered that the accused did not waste the court’s time as he admitted the charge and that he committed the offence in order to protect himself so that the suspected thief could not beat him.
“I will treat you as a first offender who in principle deserves to be judged with leniency. You are a young person, who should be given a chance to reform,
“I did not find anything aggravating in this matter, hence I sentence you to three years starting from day of your arrest,” said the Judge.
Facts before the court were that on April 14 last year, the accused person was at his farm in Kalulushi when he saw someone lighting a torch in his orchard of oranges around 19:00 hours.
The accused went close and confronted the intruder who happened to be Mr. Lakapu (deceased). The deceased ran way and the accused realised that he could be a thief because he bolted.
Kasongo gave chase until he caught him, he then pushed the deceased to the ground, hitting his head on a stone and became unconscious.
Upon realising that the deceased had died, Kasongo dragged the body of the deceased and threw it in a nearby dam, screamed for help and told people that the deceased had drowned.
The court heard that on April 18 last year, a postmortem examination was conducted at Kitwe Central Hospital (KCH) and the results indicated that the cause of the death was injuries and that no water was found in the lungs and stomach.
The accused was then apprehended and charged with one count for murder contrary to section 200 of the Penal Code 87, but the charge was reduced to a lesser charge of manslaughter contrary to section 199 of the Penal Code 87 of the Laws of Zambia.