ZIMBABWE -In a shocking development, a paedophile will only serve 315 hours of community service after he was convicted of having “s3xual intercourse with a minor.”

24-year-old Artwell Mathe from Masikili Village in the Chief Shana area near Victoria Falls was convicted of having sexual intercourse with a 14-year-old girl on several occasions. Mathe who is married, appeared before Victoria Falls resident magistrate Lindiwe Maphosa facing charges of having sexual intercourse with a minor.

During the trial, the court heard that the married paedophile proposed love to the minor in August 2019. The 14-year-old accepted the love proposal. The following month, Mathe convinced the minor to come to his home. After she came, he seduced her and the two were intimate. This happened on at least one other occasion.

The perverse affair was discovered when the minor’s mother stumbled upon Mathe groping the 14-year-old in the bush. She reported the matter to the police. This led to the arrest of the paedophile on charges of performing an indecent act with a young person. He was later charged with having sexual intercourse with a minor.

During the trial, Mathe tried to deny the charges, claiming that he was never intimate with the 14-year-old. However, he admitted that she had slept over at his house on several occasions. He claimed that even though the two slept in the same bedroom during the sleepovers, they were never intimate.

The paedophile insisted that he was merely protecting the minor. Mathe claimed that the minor was being abused at home and used to seek refuge at his home.

The 14-year-old also spoke up in defence of the paedophile. She begged the court to drop all the charges against Mathe, claiming that the two were in love.

Magistrate Maphosa, however, convicted Mathe on all counts. She said that the courts have a duty to send a message that such acts were not acceptable.

The online publication, the VicFalls Live reports the magistrate as saying,

“This offence is relatively serious as it involves a young person, most of whom are still school going and need to focus on school and not to have their lives complicated by older people, who lure them into prematurely engaging in sexual activities.”

However, after saying all this, she sentenced Mathe to 15 months in prison. She suspended 6 months on the condition that Mathe does not commit a sexual offence in the next 5 years.

The remaining 9 months were wholly suspended on the condition that Mathe performs 315 hours of community service. She said that she had considered that Mathe was a first-time offender who was married with one child.

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