Supreme Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu yesterday slapped a 25-year-old Kadoma woman, Esther Frashishiko, with a 12-year jail term after convicting her of killing her friend’s 14-year-old daughter and then stage-managing a suicide.
Frashishiko’s co-accused, a 16-year-old teenage boy, was slapped with a five-year jail term for participating in the killing of the girl after his efforts to sexually abuse the girl had hit a snag.
The two convicts will, however, serve 10 and three-year effective jail terms respectively, after two years of their sentences were suspended on condition of good behaviour.
Justice Bhunu heard that on September 30 last year, Frashishiko approached her friend, the now-deceased’s mother, at Patchway Plot and requested her for permission to allow her daughter to sleep at her house, claiming she was afraid of being at home alone since her husband was away.
The girl’s mother allowed her daughter to go to Frashishiko’s house, but the latter had planned to use her for sexual purposes in paying a 16-year-old boy for the jobs he had done for her.
However, all hell broke loose when the teenage boy, after luring the girl to accompany him to the shops, attempted to rape her, but she fought back, prompting the boy to strike her with fists and she lost consciousness.
The boy, the court heard, attempted to resuscitate the girl, but after failing to do so, he called Frashishiko, who then suggested to hang the girl and stage-manage a suicide.
Apparently, when the duo decided to hang the girl, they were not aware the latter was still alive but had just passed out.
She was eventually killed by the stage-managed hanging.
In his judgment, Justice Bhunu said: “The evidence before us clearly establishes that both accused shared a common interest that the purported killing be disguised as suicide. The first accused (the teenager) had delivered the deadly blow, rendering the deceased unconscious.
“The second accused (Frashishiko) had an equal interest in the whole episode as she was the architect of the events that were unfolding . . . From her own evidence, it appears that the second accused was in the habit of hiring the first accused to perform various chores for very little or no pay.
“She, therefore, wanted to ingratiate herself with the first accused by procuring for him a sexual partner and she pounced on the deceased.”