Unruly girls and lax parents blamed
AGE may be nothing but a number, but for Timothy Machisoto sex with his 13-girlfriend could landed him with 10-year jail sentence.
Instead he walked from a Francistown court last week.
In his ruling magistrate Sijabuliso Siziba took a swipe at unruly young girls and their irresponsible parents, saying lack of parental control was a mitigating factor in determining his decision.
DEFILEMENT CHARGE DROPPED
Girlfriend, 13, claimed she was 18
A Zimbabwean man walked free from a Francistown court after nearly six months in custody thanks to a sympathetic magistrate.
23-year-old Machisoto of Mpopoma location in Bulawayo was alleged to have defiled an under age girl in August 2011 at Block I location in Francistown where he was self-employed as a carpenter.
The court heard how the girl had declared her love for the accused after the couple had met in a bar and agreed to have sex the same night.
The relationship continued until January this year, by which time the girl had a three-month old baby. It was only when the girl’s estranged father visited his daughter, and seeing the baby reported Machisoto to the police, who was then taken into custody.
Explaining his decision to acquit Machisoto, Magistrate Siziba said he did not see how a reasonable court could convict where the victim herself misled the accused person by purporting to be an adult.
“During the trial the complainant frankly told the court that though she was 13 at the time she lied to the accused that she was 18,” he said.
Despite her youthful appearance the magistrate suggested that to blame Machisoto for having failed to detect the young girl’s features of childhood would be what he termed an “armchair approach” by the court.
“This case once more shows the difficulty of the law in trying to protect young children who do not merit such protection themselves,” he said.
Instead he blamed parental failure to guide and mold proper behavior in children as well as rebellious children who ignore parental controls.
“There is no way a court of law may punish off e n d e r s where young children venture out to
masquerade as adults and solicit for sexual intercourse,” Siziba contended.