Monday, 19 October 2020

WILL YOU MARRY ME : MAN PROPOSES TO GIRLFRIEND IN COURT BEFORE BEING JAILED

A GWERU man, desperate to have aggravated indecent assault and attempted murder charges against him quashed before sentence, proposed marriage to the complainant who is his girlfriend.

She said “Yes” but the accused will unfortunately, have to wait for 14 years to marry her following his conviction and sentence to two counts of aggravated indecent assault and attempted murder.

The court noted that there was a surge in crimes of passion and therefore the need to send a clear message to would-be offenders that a “no” is a “no” even when the two are in a relationship by passing out lengthy prison sentences.

The court said love must not hurt and when the other party wants out of the relationship, the other party must concede and not be tempted to force things as that normally leads to the commission of crimes of passion with murder being the worst.

This was heard during the appearance of Bruce Siwela (31) of Mtapa suburb in Gweru before Gweru Regional Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing one count each of aggravated indecent assault and attempted murder. He pleaded guilty to both counts.

Mrs Msipa sentenced him to nine years and 10 years for the counts, respectively. Siwela will however, effectively serve 14 years after the regional magistrate suspended five years on condition of good behaviour.

“What we have here is a crime of passion and these are on the increase and therefore the need to impose long prison terms to deter would-be offenders. The courts need to protect the complainants like in this case because failure to do this might lead to the accused doing more harm to the complainant. He is sentenced to nine years for aggravated indecent assault and 10 years for attempted murder. Five years are suspended on condition of good behaviour,” said Mrs Msipa.

It was the State’s case that on September 18 last year at around 9AM, Siwela visited his girlfriend (30), whose name is withheld to protect her identity, at her home in Mkoba 19 suburb, Gweru.

Siwela asked her why she was no longer interested in their relationship. A misunderstanding, the court heard, arose before he locked the main door. Siwela proceeded to the kitchen, collected a knife and pulled the complainant to her bedroom.

He removed his trousers with his left hand while his right hand was holding the kitchen knife. Siwela, the court heard, removed the complainant’s undergarment and got on top of her before inserting his fingers into her private parts without her consent.

On the attempted murder charge, the court heard that the complainant’s brother (name withheld) came home and found the main door closed.

The court heard that the brother asked the complainant to open the door but she failed to respond because Siwela had a knife on her neck. The brother went to the complainant’s room and opened the window and saw Siwela on top of her.

Siwela then dragged the complainant to another bedroom where he saw some empty soft drink bottles. He picked one which he used to hit the complainant on her head.

He stabbed her once on the back of the neck, once on top of the left eye, once on the right cheek, once on the right hand and once on the back and she started bleeding.

The complainant’s brother and one of their neighbours forced open the door and found her lying on the floor in a pool of blood. 

Siwela was standing holding the blood-stained knife with his right hand. The complainant was ferried to Gweru Provincial Hospital for treatment.

Siwela tried to hang himself but was caught in the act. He spent a week in hospital recovering from a wound inflicted by the cord under his chin. Chronicle

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