A security guard who killed a colleague over a phone charger in Thika six years ago will be jailed for only seven months, thanks to the time already served in custody.
Lutintanoi Lereo fatally stabbed David Lesukat on the night of February 10, 2015 at Kamenu area in Makongeni, Thika. They were both employed as night guards at Pekenya Gas Company.
In sentencing Lereo Wednesday, Justice Mary Kasango condemned him to seven years in jail but ordered that the term be calculated from February 26, 2015 when he was placed in custody pending his trial. This means he will be free in less than eight months.
“My consideration of the evidence before court reveals there was no degree of planning of the offence. It seems to have been more spontaneous reaction to what Lereo informed the probation officer that he and Lesukat were fighting over a phone charger, which Lereo said belonged to him but the deceased refused to give it to him,” said Justice Kasango.
“It therefore seems that this was an impulsive killing of Lesukat, which will militate in favour of Lereo.”
On the fateful day, Lereo drew his simi (double-edged sword) and slashed Lesukat on the head. The attack was so severe that it traversed the scalp, cracked the skull and penetrated into the brain, according to the pathologist. It was 12 centimetres in length.
“Whoever inflicted this injury on Lesukat had the intention to kill him or cause grievous harm. The force used, choice of weapon and body target of blow and actual injury inflicted make that apparent,” stated the court.
The court was satisfied that Lereo, 30, was the person who inflicted those injuries and that the prosecution’s evidence met the required standard of proof to convict him of murder. After the incident, he disappeared but was arrested the following day.
At the scene of the crime, police recovered a sheath of a sword and a shirt. The items were identified as belonging to the Lereo.
The cause of death was stated to be a head injury due to sharp force trauma. The government analyst concluded that the DNA from Lesukat’s blood matched with the one generated from the blood stains of the shirt identified to belong to Lereo.
Justice Kasango noted that Lereo was a first offender and was remorseful with a young family to raise. She considered that the purpose of sentencing is to contribute to the respect for law and maintenance of deterrence for others.
“Lereo comes from Laisamis in Marsabit County. He is illiterate, having not attended school at all. He approximates his age to be 30 years. He spent his childhood herding the family’s animals,” said Justice Kasango.
“Lesukat was my friend. We worked together. I am remorseful. I request the court to consider me (sic) I had not intended to do that act,” said Lereo.