By Daniel Sapuli
Thyolo, June 9, Mana: High Court Judge Justice Agnes Patemba has increased Petro Billiati’s sentence from 10 to 40 years Imprisonment with Hard Labour (IHL) after reviewing previous judgment by the First Grade Magistrate Court sitting in Thyolo district last year.
High Court Registrar, Gladys Gondwe said that on February 17, 2020, Billiati was sentenced to 10 years IHL by the Court in Thyolo on accounts that he defiled a minor.
“Billiati, 33 was convicted by the Court in Thyolo district for the offence of defilement and was sentenced to 10 years IHL.
“it appears the convict herein (Petro Billiati) called the 9 year victim to his house and defiled her and gave her K70 and threaten her not to reveal it to anyone,” she said.
Gondwe said that upon review, Patemba took consideration of both the convict and the victim, therefore thought that the previous judgement was too lenient hence the sentence enhanced.
“Justice Patemba taking into consideration the age of the victim, health of convict who was HIV positive when committing the offence, the offence is common, he was the victim’s neighbour and that he premidated this offence, set aside the 10 years sentence imposed by the lower court and enhanced the sentence to 40 years imprisonment with hard labour with effect from the date of arrest,” she added.
Billiati hails from Salijeni Village in the area of Traditional Authority (TA) Nsabwe in Thyolo district.