A man was yesterday sentenced to 13 years in prison for raping his sister-in-law five years ago before attempting to hang her to give the impression she had committed suicide.
The 40-year-old man was convicted after pleading guilty to raping his brother's wife when he appeared before the regional magistrate in Zimbabwe.
Asked by the magistrate why he had committed the offence, the man, who could not be named to protect the victim's identity, said it was "the work of the devil". His sister-in-law told the court that she had forgiven him for what he did but left the court to use its own discretion in the matter.
Charges against him as presented by State counsel were that on June 4, 2007, he went to his brother's house at around 10pm. He stealthily got into the hut where his sister-in-law was sleeping with her children.
While inside the house, he sneaked into her blankets and slept behind her, prompting her to realise that there was an intruder. However, as she attempted to escape, he grabbed her by the waist and pinned her down before raping her once. After raping her, he put a rope around his neck and force-marched her to the bush intending to hang her.
However, she fought him and disappeared into the night, naked. She proceeded to advise her sister about the rape and then the matter was reported to the police.