Australian court jails Quincy Timberlake for 11 years over son’s death

Quincy Timberlake

Quincy Timberlake during a past court appearance in Nairobi. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

An Australian court has jailed controversial Kenyan preacher Quincy Zumba Wambitta Timberlake for 11 years.

Timberlake, 43, was found guilty of manslaughter in an incident in which he was accused of punching his son in the stomach and then throwing him against a wall before declaring "the devil is gone now".

Moments later, the son, identified as Sinclair, whose mother is former acclaimed television journalist Esther Arunga, died on his bedroom floor north of Brisbane in Australia. He died on June 18, 2014, at the age of three.

On Friday, an Australian court was told that when he found his son dead, Timberlake started walking around the house because he said there was a devil there too.

During the hearing, the court was told that Timberlake then carried a Bible and began to pray in the house, saying he was on a mission to find the devil and beat him.

Passing the sentence, Justice Paul Freeburn described the death as "brutal and incomprehensible".

The court dropped the murder charge against Timberlake on September 13, 2023, at the request of the Australian Prosecution Service.

Quincy Timberlake used witchcraft to win over Esther Arunga - Joseph Hellon

Timberlake and Ms Arunga moved to Australia from Kenya in 2012, leaving behind a trail of controversy over their private lives.

Timberlake has been behind bars for almost a decade in connection with the incident.

Psychosis and schizophrenia

The court also heard that he suffers from psychosis and schizophrenia.

“That is, at the time of doing the act which caused Sinclair’s death, you were in such a state of abnormality of mind as substantially to impair your capacity to know that you ought not to do the act,” Freeburn said.

The judge said Timberlake will only be eligible for parole after serving more than nine years in jail.

“The release of Mr Timberlake is now a matter for the parole board,” he said.

Esther Arunga at a past media briefing. Photo/FILE

According to media reports, Timberlake’s immigration status means he will be immediately liable for either deportation or detention for an indefinite period once he is released.

Timberlake had initially told police that his son had fallen down the stairs and was not breathing when emergency services were called to the house in 2014.

But under interrogation, Ms Arunga later told police her husband had punched the boy in the stomach and thrown him against a wall.

The former TV star was convicted of being an accessory after the fact to the manslaughter of the boy after she tried to mislead police about her husband hurting their son.

It was never suggested that Ms Arunga had harmed her son.