THE State has argued that the Zambia Air Force officer accused of abusing and torturing her 11-year-old niece is a sadistic psychopath who seemingly took pleasure in the pain of a young girl who was under her care.
The State has therefore asked the Lusaka Magistrates’ Court to convict the accused person, Mildred Luwaile, saying the torture has scarred the victim for life.
But Luwaile has asked the court to acquit her, saying the prosecution has not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
Meanwhile, the matter comes up on January 20, next year for judgement.
This is a matter in which Luwaile, of ZAF Twin Palm is charged with assault on a child.
Particulars of the offence allege that on March 25, 2019 in Lusaka, Luwaile assaulted a child under the age of 16 thereby occasioning her actual bodily harm.
She was found with a case to answer and placed on her defence by magistrate Nthandose Chabala.
But in her defence, Luwaile denied the allegations saying the child was in fact a habitual liar with a tendency to fabricate stories.
She also said that the victim burnt herself after dropping a bucket of hot water.
But in the final submissions, the State has submitted that the victim was assaulted by Luwaile on countless occasions and in particular between March 25, 2019 and April 12, 2019.
Senior State Advocate Bob Mwewa stated that the prosecution had proved this fact primarily through the graphic account given by the victim who testified on oath that the accused had on several occasions beaten her and burnt her body with hot objects.
“In sum, the People argue that the accused is a sadistic psychopath who seemingly took pleasure in the pain of a young girl who was under her care. The evidence in the matter makes for shocking reading. A trained military officer would routinely tie up a prepubescent girl, make her watch as she heated knives and spoons and proceed to burn the girl in a manner similar to branding an animal. The accused was so calculated in her endeavors that she targeted parts of the body that would be normally hidden from public view,” he stated.
“The accused exiled the young victim to sleep in a garage, outside the house, an area normally reserved for dogs and other pets. This inhuman and degrading treatment peaked when she burnt the victim’s leg. According to the victim, was asked to remove her jersey and she tried to defend herself from the water which landed on her knee. We strongly put forward the hot water was meant for the victim’s head or body and it was only a quick reaction that saved her from a worse fate.”
He submitted that the accused tortured the victim in a manner that would suggest she enjoyed the smell of her burning flesh.
Mwewa added that this torture had scarred the young girl for life.
“Not only is she scarred physically for life, it safe to assume that the girl has deep emotional trauma. Trauma arising from torture at the hands of her aunt, her mother, her guardian, something she probably will never recover from. The offence at hand does not even address this injury. The Court must convict. We submit and we remain,” he stated.
But in her final submissions, Luwaile has through her defence lawyers asked the court to acquit her, saying the prosecution had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
She said there was a clear patter of deception on the part of the victim to the extent that the court would be risking a serious miscarriage of justice if her word was taken at face value.
“We further submit that the accused in her evidence gave the court a very plausible and consistent explanation as to what happened on the day the victim was burnt. On the totality of the evidence on record we submit that the prosecution has not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt and the Court must accordingly acquit the accused person,” the defence submitted.