THE Ndola High Court has sentenced a 35-year-old woman to seven years imprisonment for causing the death of her two-month-old baby by acute alcohol intoxication.

In this matter, Lillian Banda was charged with one count of manslaughter contrary to the laws of Zambia.

When the matter came up for plea, Banda pleaded guilty to the charge.

Facts before court are that on April 12, 2021, around 21:50 hours in Ndola, the accused went to report at Kaloko police post that her husband had sat on their child, leading to the baby’s death.

“Whilst making the report, she was in a drunken state and was failing to communicate properly with the officer she found on duty. The body of the deceased was later taken to Arthur Davison Children’s hospital where a postmortem examination was conducted and it was revealed that the child’s death was caused by acute alcohol intoxication,” read the facts.

“Further investigations by the police revealed that it was the accused who caused the alcohol to be administered to the deceased. She was later charged with murder and now the offence was reduced to manslaughter. The accused has admitted to the offence. Lillian Banda had no justification to cause the death of her baby.”

In mitigation through a legal aid lawyer, Banda said she had learnt a lesson over the dangers of alcohol consumption.

But in passing his sentence, Ndola High Court Judge Daniel Musonda said while there was nothing wrong with taking a little alcohol, there was everything wrong when taken in excess.

“I have noted that you are sorry over your actions and readily pleaded guilty to the charge. I also note that the offence for which you are now a convict was preceded by a drinking procession that overtook you and the fact that you failed to engage with the officer. While there is nothing wrong with taking a little alcohol, there is everything wrong to take it in large quantities that [it] makes someone reasonably fail to engage around the environment. I will send you to prison where you will have a chance to reflect when you come out. I will send you to prison for seven years simple imprisonment from the date of arrest,” ruled Judge Musonda.