“This is a very sad case. It is very heart breaking. A grown man in his 40s sexually abused and violated a young girl child of 10 years, multiple times. These offences are grisly. They shock society to the core and make us all cringe,” the judgment begins.
Evidence before the magistrates’ court, which dealt with Fabiano Maliko’s guilty plea to the offence, was that the child had called him uncle.
He was her father’s friend and he used to help out the family by dropping her off and fetching her from school.
However, he would “divert” to his house and sexually abuse her.
The little girl didn’t really understand what was going on and his crimes were only exposed when she tearfully told her teacher during a life-skills lesson on HIV/Aids.
Judge Kapindu took issue with the trial magistrate’s description of the crime as Maliko “having sex with her”.
The judge went into graphic detail of what had occurred, even though he said, this would cause “cultural and moral discomfort”.
“This language must be used to properly describe what happened, and for societal reflection on this scourge and for society to ensure it rids itself of these offences of grave moral turpitude.
“The court cannot imagine the excruciating piercing pain she experienced. It is heart rending to consider her dreadful torment.
“The court cannot imagine the state of confusion and the degree of psychological trauma.
“And then the court cannot also sufficiently imagine the odiousness and perverseness of such a grown man deriving sexual pleasure out of violating a little child whose safety he was supposed to be safeguarding,” Judge Kapindu said.
He said Maliko considered the 14-year sentence imposed on him to be excessive. His counsel believed it should be six years.
The State argued for 10 years.
Both lawyers, he said, were “particularly moved” by the fact that he had pleaded guilty.
His counsel had also suggested that at 43 years old, Maliko was an old man - which was “plainly ridiculous”.
“I am convinced that this case, but for some mitigating factors, would fall in the category of the worst examples or worst instances of the offence of defilement.
“While he denies he raped her multiple times, the court is convinced beyond reasonable doubt that he did.
“In recent days, these courts are being presented with a litany of defilement cases, indicating the offence is most probably becoming more prevalent in society than before.”
The judge said while Maliko was a first offender and had pleaded guilty, greater weight needed to be attached to the need to protect the public, particularly children,
And, the fact that he claimed he only raped her once, “waters down the plea of guilt” and was an indication of lack of remorse.
Sentencing Maliko to 40 years behind bars, Judge Kapindu also ordered the relevant government department responsible for the welfare of children to ensure that the child received support and counselling and to report back on progress within three months to the Child Case Review Board.
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