Jail for sex crimes

Paul Wil­fred Man­ning main­tains in­no­cence as judge sen­tences him to two years less a day in jail on two sex of­fences in­volv­ing a child

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - FRONT PAGE - BY RYAN ROSS

A P.E.I. man who main­tains he is in­no­cent de­spite a judge find­ing him guilty of sex of­fences in­volv­ing some­one younger than 16 was sen­tenced Thurs­day to two years less a day in jail.

Paul Wil­fred Man­ning ap­peared be­fore Chief Judge Nancy Orr in pro­vin­cial court in Ge­orge­town for sen­tenc­ing af­ter she found him guilty in June of five of­fences.

On Thurs­day, the num­ber of charges was re­duced to two, in part be­cause some were based on the same facts and could be dealt with un­der one count of sex­ual as­sault.

Man­ning was also sen­tenced for ex­pos­ing his gen­i­tals to some­one younger than 16 for a sex­ual pur­pose.

Be­fore hear­ing his sen­tence, Man­ning rose at the defence ta­ble where he main­tained his in­no­cence.

“The al­le­ga­tions I’m be­ing ac­cused of are false,” he said.

Orr found Man­ning guilty af­ter a trial that lasted sev­eral days and saw the young vic­tim tes­tify through video from out­side the court­room.

Man­ning didn’t tes­tify in his own defence.

A pub­li­ca­tion ban pre­vents the re­lease of any de­tails that could iden­tify the vic­tim.

In mak­ing his sub­mis­sions Thurs­day, Crown at­tor­ney Jeff Mac­Don­ald talked about a vic­tim im­pact state­ment he said spoke to a “shat­ter­ing of trust” and a fray­ing of bonds in the com­mu­nity.

It also spoke to the long-term im­pacts on the vic­tim, Mac­Don­ald said.

“This is not some­thing that will be for­got­ten to­mor­row.”

In her sub­mis­sions, defence lawyer Chera-Lee Hickox said a sen­tence in the range of 18-24 months was ap­pro­pri­ate.

Hickox said Man­ning had a pos­i­tive pre-sen­tence re­port in which fam­ily mem­bers de­scribed him as car­ing, re­li­able, gen­er­ous and a good per­son.

Man­ning’s son and two broth­ers also wrote let­ters of sup­port.

Hickox said Man­ning wished no ill will to­ward the vic­tim and wished her good health.

Orr said de­nun­ci­a­tion and deter­rence were the main fac­tors in de­ter­min­ing a sen­tence, but she also had to con­sider re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

That was a chal­lenge in this case be­cause Man­ning didn’t ac­knowl­edge any wrong­do­ing, she said.

Orr sen­tenced Man­ning to two years less a day in jail on each of the two charges to be served con­cur­rently.

Man­ning will be on pro­ba­tion for three years, which will in­clude a con­di­tion he not have any con­tact with the vic­tim un­less his pro­ba­tion of­fi­cer gives writ­ten con­sent.

He also will be un­der a weapons pro­hi­bi­tion for 10 years and must pro­vide a DNA sam­ple for the na­tional data­bank.

In ad­di­tion, Man­ning will be on the na­tional sex of­fender reg­istry for life.

Al­though Orr some­times or­ders apol­ogy let­ters to vic­tims as con­di­tions of pro­ba­tion, she said there was not much point in do­ing so in Man­ning’s case.

RYAN ROSS/THE GUARDIAN

Paul Wil­fred Man­ning, left, seen through the win­dow of a Pro­vin­cial Cor­rec­tional Cen­tre van, leaves pro­vin­cial court in Ge­orge­town af­ter a judge sen­tenced him to al­most two years in jail.

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