The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a 25-year-old Lilayi woman to three years imprisonment for stealing a seven-month-old baby.

In this matter, it was alleged that Maureen Mwale, on July 7, 2018, did steal a child in Lusaka with intent to deprive Ruth Chipuka of her child, Akin Kambole and her lawful right of providing care to her child.

When the matter came up for plea and sentencing before Magistrate Mwaka Mikalile, Tuesday, Mwale readily admitted to the charge.

She told the court that she had decided to steal the child because her neighbours used to tease her that she was barren.

Mwale said her intention was to permanently keep the child as hers.

And in mitigation, she asked for forgiveness from the complainant and asked if she could continue buying milk for the child who had not been breastfeeding due to her actions.

But in passing judgement, Magistrate Mikalile ruled that Mwale had committed an inexcusable offense, which had left the mother of the child traumatized for the weeks the child was kept away from her.

She added that the child was equally traumatized.

Meanwhile, Magistrate Mikalile wondered why the child was not breastfed when he was still of the age where he was supposed to continue breastfeeding.

She said God-given privilege was taken away from the baby due Mwale’s selfish and reckless actions.

“There are a number of orphanages in Lusaka with many abandoned and orphaned babies. (Mwale) had the option of adopting a child, but instead she decided to steal the child in the lawful custody of its mother, putting the child in unimaginable, traumatic situation and every mother’s worst nightmare,” said Magistrate Mikalile.

The Magistrate sentenced her to three years imprisonment.