Sukulwenkosi Dube Plumtree Correspondent
A 21-YEAR-OLD Bulilima man has been sentenced to 105 hours of community service for fondling the breasts of an elderly woman while she was relieving herself. Hloniphani Gumbo of Huwana area found the 42-year-old woman relieving herself in a bushy area when he made his move. The complainant was forced to flee from Gumbo while half-dressed in a bid to seek refuge.
Prosecuting, Mr Elisha Mazorodze, said the complainant was at a wedding on 29 December when she proceeded to a nearby bush to relieve herself and Gumbo followed her.
“The complainant heard some noises in the bush while she was relieving herself and Gumbo appeared. He got hold of her right hand and grabbed her around the chest and started fondling her breasts,” said Mr Mazorodze.
He said the complainant, who was half-naked, struggled free and left Gumbo holding her jacket.
The complainant ran towards a crowd of people who were at the wedding and reported the incident to two uniformed police officers.
Mr Mazorodze said the police officers waylaid Gumbo leading to his arrest and recovery of the complainant’s jacket which was still in his possession.
Gumbo pleaded guilty to indecent assault charges when he appeared before Plumtree magistrate, Mr Livard Philemon.
He pleaded for the court’s leniency and explained that he was under the influence of alcohol.
“Your Worship, it was not my aim to disrespect an elderly woman,” he said.
Mr Philemon sentenced Gumbo to six months imprisonment of which three months were suspended for five years on condition that he does not within the period commit an offence of the same nature.
The remaining three months were suspended on condition that he performs 105 hours of community service at Huwana Primary School.
In passing his sentence, Mr Philemon lashed out at Gumbo for disrespecting the complainant.