DEATH SENTENCE UPHELD

Man who defiled and murdered girl, 3, loses appeal

Judges say Bernard Wamuti Kamau deserves sentence meted by trial judge

In Summary
  • Kamau was tried before the High Court charged with the murder of Florence Mukami Manda
  • Eleven witnesses testified about incident that occurred on January 5, 2009 at Kiamara estate, Kiambu
The Court of Appeal
The Court of Appeal
Image: FILE

A man who defiled and strangled to death a girl aged three- and-half years in Kiambu will serve the death sentence handed to him.

Court of Appeal judges Roselyne Nambuye, Martha Koome and Sankale Ole Kantai held that the death sentence imposed on Bernard Wamuti Kamau was deserved and there was no reason to vary it.

“We have taken into account the nature of the offence committed, and the level of violence that was visited on the deceased, an innocent and defenseless child of about three years. The defilement, which was heinous enough to begin with, was compounded by murder through strangulation,” the judges said.

“On the whole, therefore, we find this is one case that deserved the sentence that was meted by the trial judge. We find no reason to interfere with it. For the aforesaid reasons we find all the grounds of appeal lacking, and we order it dismissed with the result that the death sentence imposed by the trial judge is upheld.”

Kamau was tried before the High Court and charged with the murder of Florence Mukami Manda.

It was alleged that on January 5, 2009 at Kiamara estate in Kiambu, he defiled and murdered the minor. He was tried and found guilty. The judge handed him the death sentence.

Kamau appealed against both the conviction and sentence. 

The man said the prosecution’s case was primarily predicated on circumstantial evidence as none of the witnesses saw him commit the murder. 

According to evidence adduced before the court, Mukami's body was found in a coffee plantation on the morning of January 6, 2009.

The evidence linking Kamau to the murder was given by 11 prosecution witnesses, among them his younger brother.

 

JN was hired to trim his neighbour’s fence and while doing so, he saw the appellant at that neighbour's home at about 3.45pm. 

Kamau borrowed a shaving machine and after he was shaved by another person called Ng'ang'a he went away.

He was a watchman and shared a room with JN. He used to leave for work at 5pm.  

JN left his work at the neighbour’s house at around 6.30pm and went to his home which was about 30 metres away. 

After a short while, he heard an announcement made through a loudspeaker that a little girl had gone missing.

He joined a group of neighbours who responded to the announcement and they started searching for the missing child the whole evening. They did not find the child and the search was called off for the night. 

The next morning, JN heard people screaming from the coffee plantation called Kiamara.

He went there and saw the body of the girl which was covered in a jacket.

Two other witnesses who were neighbours told the court that they suspected Kamau murdered the girl because on that day, he was late to work and they heard his sisters asking him why his clothes were so dirty. They jokingly asked him whether he had raped someone.

The court heard that blood of the little girl was found on Kamau’s clothes.

Edited by Henry Makori