The Lusaka Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a 42-year-old general worker, who stole a mattress worth K600 for his personal use, to nine months imprisonment with hard labour.

This is the matter in which Chrispine Chembo of Chiyaba village in Nampundwe, was facing one count of burglary and theft contrary to Section 301(a) and 272 of the Penal Code Chapter 87 of the Laws of Zambia.

Particulars of the offence were that during the night of February 12 and 13, 2019, in Lusaka, Chembo broke and entered into Lister Nkausu’s house and stole a mattress valued at K600.

Chembo had pleaded guilty to the charge saying he entered the said house around 20:00 hours by forcing the door open.

He added that he managed to break the lock to the house because it wasn’t strong enough.

Chembo said when he entered the house, he only stole the mattress which was on the bed and left.

He told the court that after getting the mattress, he took it to his house so that he could start using it.

The matter came up before magistrate Victoria Chitulangoma, Thursday, for facts and sentencing.

Brief facts were that on February 12, the complainant, Lister Nkausu left his house locked and every property secured around 18:00 hours and went to sleep at his sisters place.

When Nkausu went back to his house the following day around 06:00 hours, he found that the lock to the door had been tampered with.

And when he entered the house, he found that his mattress had been stolen.

The matter was reported to Shibuyunji police station and the accused was later apprehended.

Asked whether the facts were true and correct, the accused responded in the affirmative.

In mitigation, Chembo asked for forgiveness from the court, saying what he did was wrong.

He added that he was looking after his three children, wife and two orphans.

“I have three children and a wife. I also keep two orphans,” he said.

However, Magistrate Chitulangoma sentenced him to nine months imprisonment with hard labour to deter others from committing similar offences.

“I have heard what you have said in mitigation and that you are the first offender. However, there’s need to deter others. I sentence you to nine months imprisonment with hard labour,” she ruled.