NDOLA High Court Judge Daniel Musonda has sentenced a 32-year-old mother of two to seven years imprisonment for dumping her baby in a pit latrine.
In this matter, Lydia Mweshi was charged with infanticide and was convicted after she pleaded guilty to the charge.
“I take note [that] you are a first offender. You readily admitted the charge without wasting the court’s time. I also take note that you ended the life of an infant whose life was starting,” judge Musonda said.
Earlier, State advocate, Innocent Kamunga said on December 9, 2021 police in Chipulukusu received information that an infant had been dumped in a toilet.
Kamunga said the information was received from a concerned member of the Chipulukusu community after the infant was heard crying while in the pit latrine.
He said acting on the information, police instituted investigations which led to the apprehension of Mweshi.
Kamunga said Mweshi was then taken to Ndola Teaching Hospital where it was confirmed by medical personnel that she had recently given birth.
He said on the same day, the infant was retrieved with the help of the Fire Brigade and was taken to Arthur Davison Children’s Hospital but was pronounced dead upon arrival.
Kamunga further informed the court that the postmortem conducted by Dr Volodymyr Petrenko revealed the cause of death of the child as asphyxia (a condition arising when the body is deprived of oxygen, causing unconsciousness or death).
“Subsequently, the accused was charged and arrested with the offence of infanticide. The accused person unlawfully did cause the death of the infant,” he said.
In her mitigation, Mweshi, through her lawyer, Bwalya said she regretted causing the death of her child.
Bwalya said during the time she spent in custody, Mweshi had time to reflect on her mischief and was ashamed of herself.
She said her client has two toddlers who she left with her mother and that they depend on her.
“My Lord, my client has promised not to engage herself in criminality. She prays to the court to be lenient with her as the death of her baby will forever haunt her,” Bwalya said.
However, the court sentenced Mweshi to seven years imprisonment.