Grandpa (65) jailed for fondling toddler (5)
Michael Magoronga, [email protected]
A 65-year-old man has been slapped with a two-year jail term for sexually exploiting a five-year-old toddler by fondling her private parts.
Arnold Phiri of R46 Amaveni, Kwekwe in the Midlands province, reportedly took the child to his house where he committed the offence, but his luck ran out after the toddler’s elder brother (8) saw him quenching his sexual desire on the helpless juvenile.
Kwekwe Magistrate Ms Samukelisiwe Gumbo found him guilty after a full trial and slapped him with a two-year jail term.
Six months were suspended on condition he does not commit a similar offense.
In sentencing Phiri, the magistrate considered his age, which she said was both mitigatory and aggregatory.
“I take into consideration that you have never committed a criminal offense at your age, however, at the same time, at that same age, you breached the trust bestowed upon you by the parents of the child and that age should come with wisdom to protect children,” said Ms Gumbo.
This was after the State as represented by Ms Ethel Bhumure highlighted that the court was an upper guardian of minors hence a custodial sentence would go a long way in protecting vulnerable minors.
“It is trite that custodial sentences be imposed in a matter such as this bearing in mind that the accused was trusted by the mother of the child and should have protected the child. “There are serious effects and scars that the minor child can carry throughout her life and she has been exposed to an unfamiliar territory,” said Ms Bhumure.
It is the State’s case that on February 3, 2023, the accused took the toddler and her elder brother so that they could help him pluck mangoes from a tree.
While at Phiri’s house, the elder brother climbed up the mango tree, and the accused dragged the juvenile complainant into his house.
“While in the house, Phiri undressed the child and started fondling her breasts and caressed her buttocks and inserted his figure in her privates,” the court heard.
While in the process, the elder brother suddenly entered the house only to find the sex-starved man busy fondling the minor.
The elder brother ran and reported what he had seen to their mother.
A police report was made leading to the arrest of Phiri.