Please don’t send me to jail, convicted robber who fell in love with victim pleads

Kelvin Matundura inside the detention cells at the Nakuru Law Courts on January, 23, 2023

Photo credit: Joseph Openda | Nation Media Group

After being convicted of robbery with violence charges, a gang member whose romantic feelings towards one of his victims led to the arrest of his crew now seeks to be given a non-custodial sentence.

In his mitigation before principal magistrate Yvonne Khatambi, Kevin Matundura, 24, pleaded with the court for a lenient punishment saying that he is too young to be condemned to a life behind bars, and would want to be a productive member of the society.

The convicted armed robber, whose arrest came in 2017 during what was meant to be a lunch date with a victim from a house they had raided the previous day, claimed to have reformed, after spending five years in remand where he underwent much counselling.

He regretted his actions, noting that he has learnt his lesson and would like to go home and give back to society.

“I am at a young age and do not want to spend the rest of my life in custody. I have undergone counselling and would like to be allowed to go back home and give back to the community,” said Matundura.

He claimed to be the only son who lived with his mother and grandmother at Kiti estate of Nakuru town.

On December 23, the court convicted Matundura and his accomplice Joram Njoroge Wainaina with the capital offences.

In the robbery incident that occurred on the night of March 14 2017, Matundura then 19 years and Wainaina were part of the four-man gang that raided the home of Mr James Wamugunda, a businessman and farmer in Bahati sub county.

The four were armed with firearms when they invaded Mr Wmugunda’s home for a robbery mission.

During the operation that lasted eight hours, the gang terrorized the family as they made themselves comfortable in the house.

They first prepared tea, watched television, prepared meat and toasted it with wine from the house and also rode in the victim’s vehicle.

A witness, Paul Machewa, an employee who was besieged in the house alongside the family, told the court that the gang members ordered the family members to lie on the floor in the living room and tied their hands with ropes.

Some of them rested on the coaches and supported their heads using pillows.

One of the robbers, Matundura however, was attracted to the house help who he untied and sat with on the coach.

He offered her a glass of wine which she declined as they chatted in low tones. He requested for her phone number and assured her of her safety.

And while the robbers took away mobile phones from the family members, Matundura ensured that the maid remained with hers so that they could get in touch later.

However, as they were leaving at dawn, Wainaina sexually assaulted the woman, something that infuriated Matundura.

Haunted by the incident and crazed by the love feelings Matundura decided to call the lady in order appologise for the gang’s action the following day.

He requested a meet up with the woman who agreed and turned up at the venue in the company of the Police.

Matundura upon arrest led the police to the home of Wainaina’s aunt Josephine Waihini where they had hidden the firearms and stolen items. He also confessed to taking part in the robbery before changing his position later.

Matundura, Wainaina and Ms Waihini were arrested and jointly charged with robbery with violence, possession of stolen property and gang rape.

Matundura was found guilty of robbery with violence and being in possession of firearms and ammunition without license.

Njoroge on the other hand was found guilty of robbery with violence as well as rape.

Ms Waihini was, however, acquitted of all charges after the court established that she was not aware that her nephew was criminal and neither did she take part in the robbery.

The sentencing which was slated for Monday failed to take place after the court was informed that the pre-bail report was not ready.

The court adjourned the sentencing to February 6.