jail prison

A 56-year-old man from Baringo North has been jailed for life by a Kabarnet court for defiling his 10-year-old niece, who later died of her injuries.

| File | Fotosearch

Man jailed for life for defiling, killing 10-year-old niece

A 56-year-old man from Baringo North has been jailed for life by a Kabarnet court for defiling his 10-year-old niece, who later died of her injuries.

The man was convicted of manslaughter after the girl developed renal system complications due to the sexual assault and later died.

The Grade Three pupil died on July 24 last year at Sunrise Children’s Home, where she had been placed for safe custody after being rescued.

The girl, neighbours said, had been under the care of her aunt for seven years.

Three years ago, her aunt’s husband, who was also her guardian, started molesting her, warning her of dire consequences if she divulged what was happening to anyone.

The court was told that on May 5 last year, the girl met her teacher on her way to school. The teacher became immediately concerned because she looked sickly. It is then that she told the teacher that she had been repeatedly defiled by her uncle.

Compromising position

In her evidence, the wife of the accused, admitted that she once found her husband abusing the girl.

“The allegations … before she died were true because I once found my husband in a compromising position with her and (she had been defiled),” said her aunt.

On May 10, the girl told her aunt that she had intense pain in her private parts owing to the sexual assault. She later ran away, fearing retribution from her abuser. She was rescued from her hideout a week later by villagers and local administrators and taken to Baringo County Referral Hospital in Kabarnet for treatment.

She was later placed at Sunrise Children’s Home in the town, but died two months later. A postmortem report showed that she died from renal dysfunction as a result of sexual assault.

The court heard that after the girl was rescued, the accused fled home but was arrested by police in Mogotio in August last year.

Cherono denied defiling the girl, providing four witnesses in court who claimed he had marital problems with his wife and she had framed him.

Defence counsel Edwin Mwaita had claimed that investigations into the matter were shoddy.

State counsel Joseck Abwajo asked the court to consider deterrence to ensure that the offender is punished in proportion to the offence he had committed.

“The impact of this crime … is that the victim is not alive because the crime deprived an innocent soul the right to life as guaranteed by the Constitution,” Mr Abwajo said. “The sentence has been provided that the person who commits the offence of manslaughter shall be liable to life imprisonment. A person who devours his own child can be defined as the worst of all offenders; even animals don’t eat their own.”

Breadwinner

In mitigation, the defence counsel asked the court to be lenient in its sentencing, arguing that the convict was elderly, the father of four young children and the breadwinner of his family.

Announcing the sentence on Tuesday, Kabarnet Chief Magistrate Judy Wanjala found Cherono guilty of manslaughter.

“Manslaughter is an offence of causing another person death by unlawful act and according to the deceased, she had been defiled repeatedly by her guardian, allegations that were seconded by her aunt,” she said.

“I don’t agree with the defence, as the convict was identified as the person who defiled her repeatedly and she developed renal dysfunction as proved by the pathologist.

She added: “Considering the circumstances under which the crime was committed, the offender ought to be given deterrence and so should be sentenced to life imprisonment.”

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