A 62-year-old woman from Gweru will spend no time in prison after she attacked her husband of 42 years by burning logs on his head several times during a misunderstanding over weeding a maize field.

However, Clara Dube was found guilty of murder after Gweru High Court Judge Evangelista Kabasa sentenced her to a three-year suspended prison sentence on condition of good behaviour.

According to court papers, on January 26, 2022, Dube and the deceased were at home when a misunderstanding occurred about weeding their cornfield.

The court heard that the deceased assaulted her with his fists. Dubey then picked up the burning log and assaulted her husband several times all over his body.

The deceased died of his injuries on February 3 of the same year, and an autopsy showed that he died of shock and assault.

The torso she used to inflict these injuries was measured to have weighed 0796 kg and was 79 cm long.

In her ruling, Judge Kbasa said the law accepts that when a person is unlawfully attacked, he is allowed to defend himself.

“Similarly, when a person acts in self-defense but the means used to avoid an unlawful attack are not reasonable in all the circumstances, self-defense does not serve him as a complete defense but reduces the charge of murder to culpable homicide,” Judge Kbasa ruled.

“In accepting the limited plea of ​​culpable homicide, the State demonstrated an appreciation of the facts of this matter and the law. It cannot be said in the circumstances that you intended to kill the deceased or recognized the real danger or likelihood that your conduct would cause his death but that you continued to do so.”

“I am therefore found guilty of culpable homicide.”

In assessing her appropriate sentence, the judge said she had pleaded guilty to the charge, saying the guilty plea should be rewarded because it contributed to the proper administration of justice.

“You have shown that you are remorseful for what you have done, and you appear genuinely remorseful. You are a first offender and first offenders should be treated with a degree of leniency,” Judge Kbasa said.

“You are 62 years old and you look that age. Therefore your age is one of the factors that the court must consider in arriving at a just and equitable ruling.”

She added: “Your son told us that your marriage was not happy.” Apparently a 42 year marriage was so abusive that you would leave the marital home for your mother’s house.

“When this incident happened, your son told us that you had recently returned home. He is sad because he lost a father but is equally sad to see you facing charges and possible prison time. It is sad that people stay together for so long in an abusive relationship.

“The deceased abused you before you decided to use the torso. He was repeating the pattern of abuse that had characterized your 42-year marriage.

“Society is unforgiving, and you will probably now be called ‘the one who killed her husband’. This is a heavy burden to carry. Emotionally, this death will likely haunt you. After the painful incident, you rushed to seek help for the deceased and people tried to provide assistance, but to no avail.” .

Judge Kabasa said that the prison, which comes with four corners of the cell, may be better than the psychological prison she will endure for the rest of her life.

Gender-based violence is a scourge that must be eradicated. Home should be a place of peace, joy and love. Unfortunately it was not and I was also a victim of gender-based violence.

“You are not being punished for your evil intentions, but for your negligence. Punishment is therefore intended to instill caution and should therefore be educational and corrective.

“Imprisonment for three years, all suspended for five years provided you do not commit during that period an offense of which assault or violence to another person is one of the elements, and of which, on conviction, you are sentenced to a term of imprisonment and a long sentence of imprisonment without the option of a fine.” Newsday

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