High Court frees man sentenced to 15 years for defilement

Saturday, September 21st, 2019 00:00 |
Justice. Photo/Courtesy

The High Court in Kiambu has overturned a 15-year sentence and set free a man, who had been convicted and sentenced for defilement by a Thika Court in 2017.

Keith Wekesa Simiyu was set free by Lady Justice Lilian Mutende, who pointed out the anomalies by the prosecution, and faulted them for failing to produce vital witnesses during the hearing of the case.

The appellant was charged with defilement contrary to Section 8(1) (4) of the Sexual Offences Act No3 of 2006. Particulars of the charge stated that on May 1, 2015 at Gumbu trading centre in Murang’a county, he unlawfully defiled a 17-year-old girl.

Simiyu faced an alternative charge of committing an indecent act with the girl contrary to Section 11(1) of the Sexual Offences Act No3 of 2006.

Aggrieved, he appealed on 14 grounds which were condensed. He argued that the charges were not proved beyond reasonable doubt, evidence adduced was contradictory and inconsistent and that crucial witnesses were not availed to testify. He also stated that the sentence imposed was harsh and excessive.

In the case, the court had heard that the complainant was on her way home at 6.50pm when the appellant sexually violated her. Afterwards she ran to the home of Joyce Wanjiku, who had hired Simiyu to do some construction work. The accused was later arrested and charged.

In his appeal, Simiyu complained that the trial court was unfair to him as he was not given ample time to access a P3 form following his arrest.

In her judgement, Justice Mutende said the prosecution failed to avail Wanjiku and one Mama Nduta to fill in the loopholes that were apparent. 

“Failure to call them was detrimental to the prosecution case,” she said. 

The judge said medical evidence did not confirm that the complainant was defiled as there were no tears when she was examined by a clinical officer, Antony Mwangi.

The appellant was one of the beneficiaries of Kiambu High Court service week, when visiting judges including Justice Mutende from Kitui High Court were invited to help clear backlog cases. -KNA

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