Housebreaker jailed 3 years

Fungai Jachi Court Correspondent
A Mufakose man who broke into houses in his neighbourhood and stole property worth $1 600 was on Tuesday slapped with an effective three-year jail term by a Mbare magistrate. Paddington Manyemwe (30) of Mumungu Street, Mufakose, appeared before magistrate Mr Reward Kwenda charged two counts of unlawful entry. Mr Kwenda sentenced him to four years on both counts before suspending eight months for five years on condition of good behaviour.

A further four months was suspended on condition he pays back $590 to the first victim and $194 to the second.

He will serve an effective three years. The court heard that on December 27, Manyemwe – in the company of his accomplices who are still at large – used a bolt cutter to cut a burglar bar on Farai Mukupe’s window.

He gained entry into the house and stole electrical gadgets and a wallet that contained $87, the total value of all property and cash being $760. On December 30 Manyemwe used the same modus operandi to break into Experience Muzokomba’s house and stole electrical gadgets again.

The total value of property stolen was $879. Manyemwe was arrested after detectives received information that he had stolen property in his possession and on searching his house recovered some of the stolen goods.

The total amount of the stolen property in both counts was $1 639. Property worth $855 was recovered. Meanwhile, a 23-year-old man who fondled a 13-year-old girl’s breasts after being offered a lift by her parents was last week convicted of indecent assault and ordered to perform 320 hours of community service.

Vandamme Chabata of Budiriro 1 was sentenced by Mbare magistrate Ms Kudzai Zihove.

He was given a year in jail before two months were suspended for five years on condition he does not commit a similar offence during that period and the other 10 months were suspended on condition Chabata performs 320 hours of community service at Budiriro Police Station.

In assessing the sentence, Ms Zihove considered that Chabata was a first offender who pleaded guilty to the charge. What worked against Chabata was that he committed a serious offence and had to be punished to deter would-be offenders.

Ms Zihove said a custodial sentence would be too harsh on Chabata, but strongly warned him against committing a similar offence within five years otherwise he would face an automatic custodial sentence.

The court heard that on Christmas Day, Chabata was offered a lift from Budiriro to the city centre by the girl’s parents.

Chabata and the girl shared the back passenger seat and along the way, Chabata fondled the girl’s breasts.

The court heard that the girl tried to stop him, but he did not listen and continued to fondle her.

The girl’s father heard the two quarrelling and upon inquiry was told what was happen- ing.

He stopped the car and asked Chabata to leave, but he went berserk and pulled the girl out of the vehicle while assaulting anyone who tried to stop him.

The girl and her father were helped by a police officer who was passing by and they took Chabata to the police station.

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