City woman charged with helping defilement suspect escape

Jane Wambui Njeri at the Makadara Law Courts

Jane Wambui Njeri at the Makadara Law Courts.

Photo credit: Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

A 21-year-old woman is in trouble for allegedly withholding information about the whereabouts of a 15-year-old girl when she knew she was living with a man in her neighbourhood in Soweto estate, Embakasi East sub-county in Nairobi.

Jane Wambui Njeri was charged with being an accessory after the fact contrary to Section 396 (1) read with Section 397 of the Penal Code.

The section states that a person who receives or assists another person who, to his knowledge, is guilty of an offence, in order to enable him to escape punishment, is said to be an accessory after the fact to the offence.

Section 397 states that anyone who becomes an accessory after the fact to a crime is guilty of a felony and liable to imprisonment for three years if no other punishment is provided.

Ms Njeri is accused of aiding and abetting the suspect, identified only as Irungu, to escape, knowing that he was guilty of an offence of defilement. She is alleged to have committed the offence on May 15.

The minor left her mother's house on May 12 following a disagreement with her mother and went to live with Irungu after being introduced to him by the accused.

The victim's mother visited Ms Njeri in search of her child, but the accused told her that she had not seen the minor.

Her neighbourhood

Ms Njeri later called the minor's mother on May 15 and informed her that her daughter was in her neighbourhood.

The victim's mother reported the matter at the Soweto police station and police officers accompanied her to the premises where the minor was rescued from the man's house.

Ms Njeri was summoned to the police station after the minor told police during the interrogation that the accused was the link between her and the alleged abuser.

The suspect denied the charges before Senior Principal Magistrate Agnes Mwangi of Makadara Law Courts.

She was released on Sh45,000 cash bail. The case will be mentioned on July 7 before the trial starts on November 16.

Ms Njeri was charged barely two weeks after a man was charged with failing to report his housemate for cohabiting with a 17-year-old girl in their shared house in the same estate.

Mr Elly Ochieng Oyoo was arraigned in the same court where he was accused of helping his roommate escape a possible 15-year jail term.

He denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Eric Mutunga. The magistrate remanded him in custody and ordered a pre-trial report before setting bail and surety conditions for the suspect. The report is due on May 23.