Tsitsi Matope MASERU — A blue “cooper” hat with a distinct red mark, gave away a rape suspect. The suspected rapist sneaked into a widow’s bedroom and sexually assaulted her in the presence of her 11-year-old son last Monday night in Thaba Tseka.
The suspect, in his 20s, also assaulted the 35-year-old widow’s son after he tried to defend his mother. However, he left a crucial piece of evidence behind, his red marked “cooper” hat, when he fled from the room after hearing there were people coming to the woman’s rescue. “Although it was dark and the woman and her son could not recognise the attacker, the hat gave him away.
“Some rescuers immediately identified its owner when they picked it from the floor where the suspect had left it,” police spokesperson, Inspector Thato Ramarikhoane said on Friday. Apparently, after fleeing from the woman’s house, the suspect had gone back to his house to sleep. “The villagers followed him the same night and confronted him about his hat. They wanted to understand what it was doing in the house where a crime had just been committed.”
He was taken to the police where he confessed to having assaulted the widow. The man appeared before the Thaba Tseka Magistrate Court last Wednesday. He was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in jail without an option of a fine, according to Ramarikhoane. “We applaud the support the community gave the woman and her son to ensure the culprit was brought to book. At the same time, we would like to strongly warn those men who prey on women and girls to stop the cowardice acts and stop crime.”