REPEATED RAPE INCIDENTS

Court upholds life sentence for man who defiled daughter

Three-judge bench says he abused the girl's trust; dismisses case

In Summary

• Justices Wanjiru Karanja, Fatuma Sichale and Jamilla Mohammed said as the complainant’s father, the man had a duty to protect her but he instead abused her trust in him. 

The Court of Appeal. /Monicah Mwangi
The Court of Appeal. /Monicah Mwangi

A man convicted of defiling his 13-year-old daughter will serve his life sentence after the Court of Appeal dismissed his appeal for lacking merit. 

Justices Wanjiru Karanja, Fatuma Sichale and Jamilla Mohammed said as the complainant’s father, the man had a duty to protect her but he instead abused her trust in him. 

“In the circumstances of this case, we decline to interfere with the sentence imposed on the appellant by the trial court and upheld by the 1st appellate court,” the bench ruled on July 23.

Court documents say in October 2010, the girl travelled to Mwingi, Kitui county to visit her father who had previously defiled her thrice.

He took her to his second home which he shared with his second wife and left for the pub. Later that night, he returned home drunk only to defile her a fourth time.

That night, the girl had slept on the sofa while her father slept on the bed. Deep in the night, her father complained of feeling hot, placed a mattress on the floor to sleep but subsequently snuck up on the Standard 6 girl.

He pounced on her and defiled her. It is only her screams that brought the neighbours to her rescue.

The father was arrested and charged with the repeated incest of his 13-year-old daughter at a senior resident magistrate’s court in Mwingi town. He pleaded not guilty.

However, on completion of the trial, he was found guilty of the defilement and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

But he moved to the High Court in Garissa seeking to quash the conviction and set aside the life sentence.

In his appeal, the man said the trial magistrate confirmed his conviction based on contradictory and insufficient evidence.

He accused the trial magistrate of erring in law and fact by failing to analyse and re-evaluate the entire records and confirming a sentence that is unconstitutional.

The trial judge, however, upheld the lower court's conviction and sentence asserting that the evidence adduced was sufficient for his conviction.

Dissatisfied, the accused moved to the Nairobi Court of Appeal seeking to quash the two earlier rulings.

Before the three-judge bench, the father denied defiling his daughter and maintained that he was being framed by his second wife who did not want the daughter to stay with them.

The appellant also stated that his daughter, the complainant had mental problems and was, therefore, an unreliable witness in the case.

However, judges Karanja, Sichale and Mohammed dismissed the appeal for lacking merit, upheld the conviction and life sentence.