A MAGISTRATE’S court has sent a 19-year-old Grade Eight pupil to prison for 18 months imprisonment with hard labour for stealing a bicycle belonging to a fellow worshipper during a church service in Chingola.
The court found Michael Sinkala of Mikiloni area, Chiwempala, Chingola, guilty of theft.
When the matter came up for plea, Sinkala readily admitted the charge before magistrate Lomuti M’tonga.
Particulars of the offence are that Sinkala on April 19 this year in Chingola stole a mountain bicycle worth K400 belonging to Martin Lumumba at a Catholic church as congregants were worshipping inside.
Facts before the court were that the complaint had gone for a church service and left his bicycle outside the church.
when the service ended, the complainant discovered that the bicycle was missing and reported the matter to police.
The court heard that after some months he spotted the bike at Chiwempala market with a man who revealed that it had been sold to him by Sinkala.
The police apprehended Sinkala and charged him with theft.
Sinkala begged the court to exercise leniency on him because he was sorry for his actions.
“Your honour, I have learnt a lesson and will never repeat what I did. I am a pupil, so if you send me to prison my future will be ruined,” Sinkala said.
Mr M’tonga wondered why Sinkala could steal at a church.
“You went there to pray but you decided to steal from your church mate. What you did was very bad and you have to be punished.
“I have heard your mitigation and that you are a first offender, but you will not go scot-free. I will sentence you to 18 months imprisonment with hard labour. You should respect the house of God,” he said.
Mr Mtonga said that Sinkala has a right to appeal.
In the same court Mr M’tonga sentenced a 25-year-old man to three months imprisonment with hard labour for trafficking in 10 grammes of marijuana.
Mr M’tonga sentenced Goldwin Kainda of New Plots in Kasompe township after he pleaded guilty to the offence.
Kainda told the court that he used the drugs as medicine for his ears, but the magistrate dismissed the claim.
On October 3 this year Kainda trafficked in 10 grammes of marijuana, a product of cannabis sativa, without lawful authority.
Facts before the court were that Kainda was a suspect in a case of theft and was found in possession of suspected marijuana while police officers were searching him.