A MAN has been jailed 18 months for having se_xual intercourse with a 15-year-old girl.
Ellington Maningi, 35, pleaded guilty to the charge after his arrest in October 2021.
Manhingi went on to approach the High Court, noting his appeal against sentence, arguing that his punishment must be reduced to community service.
He applied for bail pending appeal claiming that he had good grounds for success.
However, the State was opposed to the appeal, arguing that the magistrate was justified to resort to a custodial sentence.
In his findings, Justice Munamato Mutevedzi dismissed the appeal.
“What is noteworthy is that in an application for bail pending appeal, the presumption of innocence, which Maningi enjoyed before conviction, is taken away.
“He stands convicted and must be viewed as such until and unless his appeal against the conviction succeeds.
“The situation is dire in instances such as in this case where the conviction is not being challenged.
“Maningi must, therefore, rely on the benevolence of the court in the exercise of its discretion to restore his liberty whilst he awaits the determination of his appeal.
“It is the reason why an applicant is obligated to put before the court cogent reasons why it would be in the interests of justice that he be released on bail,” reads the judge’s ruling.
Justice Mutevedzi added that Maningi was not a candidate for bail.
“For a mature man of 35 years, to have se_xual intercourse with a 15-year-old and seek to escape responsibility for his inexcusable behaviour by clamouring for community service, is being disingenuous.
“The law does not prescribe that every offence, where a sentence of 24 months or less, is imposed, the court must resort to community service.
“There are instances when community service is simply not the appropriate penalty.
“In the final analysis, there are no prospects that the applicant will succeed in having the prison sentence substituted with a non-custodial punishment of any form.”