The defendant in this case may or may not have lost her senses, the judge that sentenced her clearly has:
A young woman who repeatedly stabbed her mother as she slept has walked free from court after a judge accepted she believed she was acting on the instructions of evil spirits. Lorraine Mbulawa, 20, donned dark clothes, gloves and a home-made balaclava and attacked her mother with a kitchen knife in Braunstone Firth, Leicester. The 43-year-old victim saved herself by grabbing the weapon, but suffered serious face and arm injuries.
Mbulawa, who was 18 at the time, was cleared of attempted murder at her trial at Leicester Crown Court earlier this year but convicted of unlawful wounding.
Psychiatrists said she was not mad and the jury agreed that she knew what she was doing.
However, the A-level student, who was born in Zimbabwe, escaped with a 12-month suspended prison sentence and was ordered to do 120 hours of unpaid work. Passing sentence on Monday, Mr Justice Keith said he accepted the defendant had strong beliefs in witchcraft and thought she was possessed by the spirit of her dead grandmother at the time of the attack in May 2009.
He told Leeds Crown Court: ‘She believed spirits can enter the body and make you do things that otherwise you would not have done.’
He praised Mbulawa as ‘unusually confident and assured, also not unintelligent with a degree of charm and poise’. Family members were in court and her mother Sisbsisiwe gave Mbulawa an emotional hug as she was released from the dock. She will now be able to move back in with her mother in Braunstone Frith, Leicester, after living apart for two years. Mr Justice Keith told Mbulawa: ‘I hope that you and your mother can come to terms with what has happened. I wish you all the best for the future.’
The court heard a psychiatrist who assessed Mbulawa said she was still a risk because she believed the spirits could possess her again and she has no control over them.
Any civilization that throws up ‘judges’ as appalling as this is in a great deal of trouble.