Motorist who killed Gladwell Otieno’s son in accident 11 years ago convicted

Mr David Gichuki at the Kibera Law Courts

Mr David Gichuki at the Kibera Law Courts. Mr Gichuki was convicted of three counts of causing death by dangerous driving after 11 years of trial and is awaiting sentencing.

Photo credit: Joseph Ndunda | Nation Media Group

A businessman who killed three people in a grisly road accident along James Gichuru road on April 15, 2012, was yesterday convicted for causing their deaths by dangerous driving.

Mr David Gichuki (right) was convicted of three counts of causing death by dangerous driving after 11 years of trial at the Kibera law courts and is awaiting sentencing.

Mr Gichuki who was driving his car, a Toyota Land Cruiser, on the wrong side of the road at around 1 am killed activist Gladwell Otieno’s son, Silvano Mandla Otieno, and two others after a head-on collision. 

Otieno was driving his Volkswagen and was in the company of three friends. Brian Mwaura and Nsanya Otis Kapya were killed in the accident. Tijan Kisilu was seriously injured.

Mr Gichuki had been charged with three counts of causing death by dangerous driving contrary to section 46 of the Traffic Act and was found guilty on all counts.

He was also charged with reckless driving, contrary to section 47 (1) of the penal code.

Mr Gichuki had also been charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

Senior Principal Magistrate Derrick Kutto said the prosecution had proved the three charges against Mr Gichuki but said the prosecution did not table any evidence that the convict was drunk at the time.

Denied charges

Mr Gichuki was acquitted of the last two counts. He had denied all the charges throughout the trial and was out on a cash bail of Sh50,000.

While testifying in court, Mr Samuel Barasa, a security guard who was among the people who witnessed the accident, told the court that he saw a Toyota Land Cruiser VX speeding towards Muthangari/Westlands direction.

“The Land Cruiser was being driven well inside the left lane of the oncoming blue Volkswagen Golf and the driver of the said car was veering to his extreme left in what I thought was a desperate attempt to avoid the oncoming Land Cruiser,” he said.

The guard told the court that there was a lot of debris at the accident scene.

“I then saw three young men coming out of the Land Cruiser all looking drunk, shouting and generally behaving drunk. One or two of the young men came out, each holding a bottle from which they were sipping what I believe was alcohol,” he added.

The guard said he saw Otieno dying at the scene, noting that the two others died instantly.

Mr Gichuki will return to court on April 20 for mitigation after his lawyer Danstan Omari pleaded for more time to prepare.

Prosecution counsel Allan Mogere urged the court to order a pre-sentencing report, where the Probation department will interview the convict and families of the victims, including the only survivor, which will be considered during sentencing.