A MAN has been jailed for 18 years for a sickening sex attack on his orphaned 13-year-old niece.
Wilson Chingosho, 54, of Mabvuku in Harare, will spend an effective 14 years behind bars after Harare magistrate, Sandra Mpindu, set aside part of the sentence on Monday.
Said the magistrate: "The complainant trusted you as an uncle, but you misused that trust and abused a child who is also an orphan."
The court heard that the victim was also HIV positive after contracting the disease from her mother at birth.
Mpindu said the court needed to make a strong statement with a deterrent sentence as cases of abuse of vulnerable minors by relatives supposed to be caring for them were on the increase.
Tinashe Kanyemba, prosecuting, said the assault occurred sometime last year after Chingosho went into the spare bedroom used by the teenager and her sister.
Chingosho found the two girls sitting on the bed and got rid of the other sister by telling her to go and buy bread at the shops.
While she was gone, Chingosho returned to the room where he found the 13-year-old sleeping. He dropped his trousers to his ankles, lifted the blankets raped his niece once.
He then threatened her with physical harm if she told anyone about the abuse.
Kanyemba told the court the girl had started bleeding shortly after the attack and went outside the house where a neighbour saw her crying but was apparently too drunk to do anything about it.
The rape was only discovered on April 11 this year when the girl told staff at a Harare clinic about the abuse. Police were called.