What you need to know:
- Under the Sexual Offences Act 2006, provisions of the law are punitive enough to provide a death-lock for perpetrators but the application aspect is wanting.
- This month, a court sentenced a pastor who defiled his two underage daughters to 140 years after he pleaded guilty to the offences. That’s the way to go.
Children are under threat more than ever from the sexual abusers on the prawl, who breach their rights and get a slap on the wrist as punishment, making them emboldened.
There is a need to mete out stern punishment as stipulated in the laws that protect children’s rights.
But some rulings are scandalous. Hull Locksmith, 72, a British pensioner who came to Kenya for charity, lured Kilifi girls using his granddaughter to access them.
He was convicted by a Leeds Crown Court, in the UK, to counts of rape, sexual assault and perveting the course of justice and sentenced to 18 years and six months in prison. That was a soft landing.
Another sexually abused street children, mainly boys, one of them only nine, in his Gilgil home under the guise of offering charity to the vulnerable children in 1996-2013.
The 55-year-old Briton was found guilty of indecent assault and sexual assault. A Birmingham Crown Court sent him to prison for 17 years. A slap on the wrist.
Locally, a rape-accused was set free in the Martin Charo v. R Cri. App. No. 32 of 2015 when the judge ruled that the appellant could not be condemned for the voluntary acts of the complainant, who was 14, since she behaved like an adult. The 24-year-old appellant never bothered to ascertain the age of the minor. Ridiculous.
Under the Sexual Offences Act 2006, provisions of the law are punitive enough to provide a death-lock for perpetrators but the application aspect is wanting.
For example, the defilement of a minor of up to 11 years invites a life imprisonment. Sexual assault of a minor attracts a 10-year jail term but may be enhanced to life imprisonment. A person who defiles a child of 16-18 years is liable to imprisonment for 15 years.
This month, a Baricho (Kirinyaga) court sentenced a pastor who defiled his two underage daughters to 140 years after he pleaded guilty to the offences. That’s the way to go.
Mr Ayuo is a legal researcher and tutor. @timothysamson1