CRIME OF (COM)PASSION
A young man accused of defilement was spared a prison sentence after it emerged that his underage girlfriend threatened to kill herself if he ended their relationship.
Christopher Thekwini, 22, who had pleaded guilty to the charge, told a Francistown court on Tuesday how the love-struck 16-year-old schoolgirl disregarded her parents’ warning to stop the affair.
The lanky dreadlocked machine operator explained that despite the warnings he had no choice but to continue the relationship after the girl wrote to him saying she would commit suicide if he listened to her parents’ demands.
“After reading the letter I agreed to continue with the relationship. We agreed to see each other secretly,” Thekwini said.
But luck ran out for the couple when they were caught in a compromising position and the girl’s parents reported the matter to the police.
Thekwini was sentenced to a wholly suspended three-year prison term on condition that he did not commit an offense of a sexual nature for the next two years.
He was also given five strokes of the cane on his bare buttocks.
In sentencing Thekwini Francistown Magistrate Sijabuliso Siziba said that the court had taken into consideration that the girl had pestered him into continuing the relationship.
“Young girls have developed a tendency of lying about their age when involved in relationships with older men.
Now in this matter the young girl in question went to the extent of uttering suicide threats in order not to loose the boy,” he said.
The maximum sentence for unlawful carnal knowledge of a girl under the age of 16 is 14 years.