Teen baby killer sentenced

The bucket where the baby was found

The bucket where the baby was found

Tanaka Mrewa, Court Reporter
A BULAWAYO teenager who strangled her baby at birth has been sentenced to a wholly suspended 24 months in jail.

A court heard that after killing her baby, Linda Ncube (18) of Gwabalanda suburb wrapped the body with a blanket and placed it in a bucket that she placed at the back of their house.

Ncube’s aunt who wanted to use the bucket discovered that she had killed her new born baby.

Ncube pleaded guilty to an infanticide charge and begged for a community service sentence.

Western Commonage magistrate Mr Lungile Ncube sentenced her to 24 months in prison.

Six months were suspended on condition of good behaviour and 18 months were suspended on condition that she performs 630 hours of community service.

“Why did you do such a thing? Were you expecting no one else to use that bucket or did you think no one would find out what you had done?” asked the magistrate.

Ncube told the court that she killed her baby because she had no means of raising the child.

“The father of the baby denied responsibility. I don’t work Your Worship and there is no way that I could’ve taken care of the baby. I didn’t even have preparation. I had no option. I knew the baby would be found because the bucket I used is the one we use for laundry,” she said.

Prosecuting, Mr Magret Takawira said on Monday last week, Ncube’s aunt, Ms Sithabile Ndlovu, noticed that the teenager was no longer pregnant and asked her what had happened to her baby.

“Accused gave birth to a baby girl and strangled it. She covered it in a blanket and placed it in a bucket. She put the bucket away at the back of the house. She took two stones and placed them on top of the bucket,” said Ms Takawira.

“The matter came to light when the complainant wanted to use the bucket. She found the baby in the bucket. Accused was not at home at the time so complainant called accused’s mother who was at work in Magwegwe suburb.

“Accused’s mother later got a call from her sister who stays in Lobengula saying accused person was at her house. Accused person was taken to the police in connection with the incident,” she said.