TOUCH not the law enforcer!
This advice was at play when a Bulawayo-based car dealer was slapped with a 42-month jail package by a Bulawayo magistrate for brutally striking a police officer with an empty beer bottle on the forehead resulting in him sustaining a deep cut.
Brandon Hingi (25) from Nketa 8 suburb carried out the savage and supposedly alcohol-fuelled attack on Christopher Chindiya (27) on 16 May 2021 at the Bulawayo Athletics Club popularly known as BAC which was allegedly operating in violation of Covid-19 lockdown rules. In Zimbabwe lockdown laws prohibit nightclubs and bars from operating.
Hingi is, however, going to spend 30 months in jail after 12 months of his sentence were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour by Bulawayo provincial magistrate Tavengwa Sangster who convicted him on his own plea of guilty to a charge of assault.
In coming up with the sentence Sangster took into consideration the fact that the assault from the observation of the doctor had ‘‘very’’ serious after-effects.
“There was a danger to life in that complainant may experience intra-cranial bleeding. There is also a possibility of permanent disability in that the complainant may develop problems of secondary brain concussion such as fits,” observed Sangster.
He adds: “The possibility of bleeding in the head as well as permanent disability must not be taken lightly. A fine or community service will not do justice in this case. This will trivialise the offence and therefore, encourage would-be offenders. Only imprisonment is suitable for such attacks on another.”
The court proved that on 16 May 2021 and at around midnight, the complainant was at Bulawayo Athletics Club popularly known as BAC in the company of his friend. As they were going out of the club, the complainant’s friend lost his phone. He then accused Hingi of having taken it and that caused a misunderstanding between the two.
Chindiya then approached the accused who was arguing with his friend over the stolen cellphone. The accused then hit the complainant once on the forehead with an empty beer bottle.
Complainant sustained a cut on the forehead and was referred to hospital for medication. The matter was reported to the police leading to Hingi’s arrest.
In mitigation, Hingi pleaded for leniency saying his girlfriend was expecting and that when he committed the offence, he was angry that the complainant’s friend had falsely accused him of stealing his cellphone.