A teenage mother burnt her five-year-old step daughter using a hot iron told the court that she was possessed by evil spirits before she was jailed for an effective 18 months.
Tatenda Foto, pleaded guilty to the charge of ill-treating a child when she appeared before Mbare magistrate Vicky Mashamba. Asked on why she committed the offence, Tatenda said: "Its evil spirits that are working hard to prevent me from getting married Your Worship. I was possessed."
State Counsel Hilda Varaidzo Huni condemned Tatenda's conduct as dangerous to the society and a deterrent sentence was proper.
"Your Worship, the accused person has become dangerous to the society and a custodial sentence will meet the justice of the case," she said.
Magistrate Mashamba sentenced the teenage step-mum to 24 months imprisonment, of which six months were set aside on condition that she does not commit a similar offence. The remaining 18 months shall be effective as Tatenda will languish in jail.
According to the State, on 17 December at around 9am the 5-year-old girl was at home playing when she was asked by her step-mother on why she was wearing a torn trouser.
It is the State's case that the little girl told her that the trouser was torn when she attempted to climb a tree. Tatenda then called her into a room where she was ironing some clothes and took a HOT STEAM IRON before 'ironing' the little girl's face!
As if that was not enough, she further burnt her hands where upon the toddler cried in agony. However, the girl kept it a secret and did not tell anyone before a neighbour reported the matter to the police leading to Tatenda's arrest and subsequent appearance in court.
The minor child was hospitalised and a medical affidavit was produced in court as evidence.