SENIOR STAFF WRITER
A HARARE man, who murdered his girlfriend before attempting to commit suicide, has escaped a jail term after the High Court ruled that he was mentally unstable when he committed the offence.
Richard Nenhowe had invited his girlfriend Angela Dapi to Elizabeth Hotel in Harare for a sex romp, but later strangled her to death.
After the murder, Nenhowe attempted to take his own life by cutting slashing himself in the groin and neck and slitting his wrists.
High Court judge Justice Joseph Musakwa cleared Nenhowe after two psychiatric reports submitted in court showed that he was insane at the time he committed the offence.
The court heard that on June 19, Nenhowe left his workplace in Shurugwi, saying he was going to solve a social matter in Harare.
Along the way, he called a workmate, Tinashe Mazorodze, and told him that he had an unresolved issue with his girlfriend and wanted to take his own life.
The court further heard that when Nenhowe arrived in Harare he went to his employer’s residence in Tynwald and received counselling.
On June 30, the court heard, Nenhowe met Dapi and they agreed to book a room at Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Harare.
The two got intimate before Nenhowe strangled and assaulted his girlfriend to death.
He then called Mazorodze and informed him he had killed his girlfriend and was going to commit suicide.
Mazorodze knew the room number that Nenhowe usually booked at the hotel and rushed there, but he refused to unlock the door.
He then sought help from the police, but Nenhowe still refused to open the door.
The police then forcibly opened the door and found Dapi’s body on the bed while Nenhowe was bleeding profusely from cuts in the throat, groin and wrists.
Broken beer bottles and a razor blade were found in the room.
A post mortem conducted on Dapi at Parirenyatwa Hospital showed that death was due to strangulation and assault.