What you need to know:
- Mr Fred Leparan was convicted along with another social worker, Ms Selina Adundo.
- They were convicted of child trafficking and negligence following a BBC investigation two years ago.
Former Mama Lucy Hospital social worker Mr Fred Leparan could serve more than 30 years in prison if found guilty of child trafficking.
Described by the prosecution as callous and lacking respect for children and fellow human beings, Mr Leparan was remanded in custody until October 4, 2023 when his fate will be determined.
Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Esther Kimilu was urged by a prosecutor to hand down a deterrent sentence because of the accused’s “lack of empathy”.
"The convict has no regard for the rights of other people, that is why he sold three-week-old babies like commodities," the prosecutor said.
In urging the court to impose a severe sentence, the prosecutor said the convict had shown no remorse.
"The convict was employed to take care of innocent, parentless children who are voiceless due to their infant status," the prosecutor said.
The court was urged to impose a deterrent sentence for the heinous offence and do justice to the victims, who were sold when they were three weeks old and are now three years old.
The judge was urged to take judicial notice of the prevalence of human trafficking, which has been widely reported in the media.
Mr Leparan was convicted along with another social worker, Ms Selina Adundo.
They were convicted of child trafficking and negligence following a BBC investigation two years ago.
In mitigation, Mr Leparan's defence lawyers, Danstan Omari and Martina Suiga, said he was a first-time offender and prayed for a non-custodial sentence.
The argued the court should consider him for rehabilitation and restoration.
The court also heard that Mr Leparan is a family man, married with three children and the sole breadwinner, having lost his father at the age of 16.
"If he is given a non-custodial sentence, he will be able to reflect on the completed trial so that he can integrate into society and support his family," Ms Suiga said.
Ms Kimilu was also urged to be lenient and order community service, which includes unpaid public work.
The court heard that after Ms Leparan was sentenced, his mother was so affected that she developed a mental illness.
Mr Omari also raised concerns about the probation officer's report, which he said was contradictory and portrayed Leparan in different ways, particularly in relation to his family background.
In the report, Mr Omari said the convict came from a polygamous family and faced tough challenges as he grew up in a very hostile and difficult environment...therefore he lacked proper parental upbringing.
"The poor psychological background affects the children by creating hopelessness," he said.
The economy is also to blame for the sentence.