A 21-YEAR-OLD man, who was last month convicted of assaulting Health minister Obadiah Moyo’s daughter Ashleigh and sentenced to five months’ imprisonment, has appealed against both conviction and sentencing, saying the presiding magistrate erred.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
In the sentence, magistrate Learnmore Mapiye suspended two months on condition that Godfrey Utsiwegota pays $600 fine and a further three months on condition of good behaviour.
Utsiwegota challenged his conviction and sentence, saying the magistrate had no basis to convict him since the sole testimony of the minister’s daughter was a lie.
While under cross-examination, Ashleigh admitted that the statement which was submitted in court was written by his father — the minister — and Utsiwegota challenges that the court could not have used the evidence since she was not the author.
Ustiwegota’s lawyer Cathew Manyani told court that Ashleigh had refused to testify against Utsiwegota, who is her boyfriend, but her father forced her.
Ashleigh again admitted in court that she told his father in front of Utsiwegota and Manyani that he was forcing him to testify in a matter she did not want to proceed with.
When asked by Manyani who reported the matter to the police, Ashleigh said it was her father.
Ashleigh also admitted in court that she was violent after she assaulted Utsiwegota, resulting in him sustaining head injuries and had to be rushed to a hospital while in South Africa.
In his appeal, Utsiwegota said the court erred in relying on the evidence of a single witness, who is also the complainant in the matter.
“The court erred at law in making a finding that complainant was truthful and credible contrary to factors on the record or ground, which clearly pointed out that she was untruthful and not credible,” Utsiwegota submitted.
He said it was Chatunga Mugabe’s girlfriend Ovio Mgijima, who assaulted Ashleigh after she had poured wine on her.
Utsiwegota’s testimony was also supported by a witness Shaun Chirimuko, a bouncer at Pabloz Night Club, who separated Mgijima and Ashleigh from fighting.
Chirimuko said Utsiwegota and Ashleigh were their clients at Pabloz, but on the day in question, the convict never assaulted Ashleigh as he was watching.
The witness also told the court that Ashleigh was assaulted by Mgijima, whom she had poured wine while inside the night club.
Utsiwegota’s appeal was filed at the clerk of court on Friday.
The court heard that on July 26 this year at around 11pm, Ashleigh was at Pabloz Night Club reportedly recording her music and after recording, she left the club and walked towards her car.
When she was about to open the car door, Mgijima, a South African, punched her with a fist and she fell down.
Suddenly, Utsiwegota appeared and joined Mgijima to fight the complainant until she was unconscious.
A medical report was obtained and produced in court as exhibit.