Meru pastor who conned man in land sale loses appeal to overturn sentence

Arable land - con pastor

Arable land. A clergyman in Meru conned a business man of Sh1 million in a land sale scam.

Photo credit: Cyril Ndegeya | Nation

A pastor convicted of conning a businessman of Sh1 million in a land sale scam has lost his quest at the High Court to have a four-and-a-half-year jail sentence overturned.

Justice Patrick Jeremy Otieno threw out the appeal lodged by Peter Thuranira, who was convicted on four separate counts of fraud, saying, the jail term was “lawful, lenient and well deserved”.

Thuranira conned Mr Hesborn Gatobu after selling him a piece of land belonging to a Mr Mbaabu Kiambati and his wife Tabitha Mbaabu.

He had produced a fake identity card bearing Mr Kiambati’s names while accompanied by a woman who identified herself as Tabitha Mbaabu and who posed as his wife but whose real name was Irene Nkatha.

Nkubu Senior Resident Magistrate Joan Irura had, in February 2021, found Thuranira guilty of four of the six counts he faced.

The court fined the pastor Sh1 million for the offence of obtaining money through fraud or in default, face 18 months in jail.

Ms Irura also fined Thuranira Sh100,000 for the offences of making a false document with the intent to defraud, uttering a false document and impersonation. In default, Thuranira faced a one-year jail term for each of the three counts, and the sentences would run consecutively.

Thuranira fought the ruling, saying, the prosecution had not proved the case against him beyond reasonable doubt and the magistrate erred in law by making the sentences run consecutively.

However, Justice Otieno ruled that the prosecution had proved the charges against Thuranira and the magistrate was right to hand out consecutive sentences because the offences were committed separately.