courthouseA Beitbridge taxi driver Nobert Chauke (27) is in trouble after he was arrested for sleeping with his minor cousin aged 15 but claims he was not aware she was under age as “she also had hips and looked like a fully-fledged woman”

Chauke, who is married and his wife is pregnant admitted to engaging in sex with his 15-year-old cousin, but claimed that they were in love.

He was convicted on his own plea of guilty to engage in sex with a young person under the age of 16 years when he appeared before Gwanda regional magistrate Joseph Mabeza.

Chauke was remanded out of custody and would be sentenced on May 8.

He was initially charged with rape but the charge was altered following evidence produced in court of some WhatsApp messages indicating that the two had a consensual sexual relationship.

The taxi driver’s lawyers, Matshobana Ncube and Kucaca Phulu said their client was a simple and young unsophisticated person who indicated that he was not aware that he was committing an offence since he thought the girl was 16 years old.

The lawyers said their client was of the view that the girl was mature enough because of “her physical stature as she also had hips and looked like a fully-fledged woman.”

The lawyers also said the offence was committed when the girl was 15-years, a month and some days old, thus she was nearly 16-years-old.

They suggested that the court should hand Chauke a suspended sentence as he was willing to perform 420 hours of community service so that he could also continue providing for his family outside business hours since he was the breadwinner.

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