Run away girl’s lover gets heav­ier sen­tence

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Tanaka Mrewa

A BU­L­AWAYO man who asked a mag­is­trate for a lighter sen­tence af­ter be­ing or­dered to per­form com­mu­nity ser­vice ended up get­ting a heav­ier one — 12 months in jail.

Charles Ncube (23) had been con­victed of en­gag­ing in sex­ual in­ter­course with a mi­nor af­ter he co­hab­ited with a girl (15) who ran away from home af­ter be­ing chided by her mother for hav­ing a boyfriend at an early age.

West­ern Com­mon­age Mag­is­trate Mr Stephen Ndhlovu had, on Mon­day, or­dered Ncube to per­form com­mu­nity ser­vice for the crime, but the con­vict asked the mag­is­trate: “Isn’t there a bet­ter sen­tence that you can give me other than com­mu­nity ser­vice?”

Mr Ndhlovu re­sponded by send­ing him away for 12 months, sus­pend­ing four months for good be­hav­iour over the next three years.

The 15-year-old girl’s fam­ily re­ported her miss­ing af­ter she had run away from home on May 27 when her mother con­fronted her for hav­ing a boyfriend.

The Chron­i­cle sub­se­quently pub­lished a miss­ing per­son ap­peal from the po­lice in con­nec­tion with her case.

Within days, she went to the po­lice and asked them to es­cort her home and Ncube, whom she was co­hab­it­ing with, was ar­rested.

Pros­e­cut­ing, Mr Keneth Shava said on May 27, the teen ran away from home and went to stay with her boyfriend for two days.

“The ac­cused told the com­plainant that it wasn’t safe for her to be at his house so she went to stay with a friend at Old Loben­gula. On July 14, the com­plainant went to West­ern Com­mon­age po­lice sta­tion where she asked the po­lice to es­cort her home claim­ing that she was no longer in­ter­ested in stay­ing with the ac­cused,” said Mr Shava.

The mi­nor said she had sex with two men, Ncube in­cluded, af­ter run­ning away from home. “I would spend the day with my boyfriend in Loben­gula then the other one would come and take me for the night. The one in Loben­gula didn’t know that I had an­other boyfriend in En­tum­bane. I was hav­ing sex­ual in­ter­course with both of them,” she said.

The mi­nor’s mother who tes­ti­fied in court said she con­fronted Ncube af­ter her neigh­bours had told her that they had seen her daugh­ter com­ing out of his house.

“He ad­mit­ted that he had slept with my daugh­ter. I asked him to go and buy a preg­nancy test kit to con­firm if he hadn’t im­preg­nated her. He never came back with it and that was the same day that my daugh­ter eloped from home,” said the mother. — @ tan­nytkay

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