ON THE DOCK

Fake magistrate charged, mind games play out

The magistrate taught him some law.

In Summary

•  The suspect who seemed afraid, uncomfortable and embarrassed tried as much as possible to avoid showing his face

• It emerged he had also refused to have his photo taken by the police.

Kibera law courts
Kibera law courts
Image: FILE

In a interesting case, a suspect who impersonated a magistrate had his day in front of the real judicial officer this week.

The suspect who seemed afraid, uncomfortable and embarrassed tried as much as possible to avoid showing his face and avoided photos from journalists.

"Bwana magistrate mwenzangu usijali, just relax and don't go away just stand here we are not yet done," a Nairobi magistrate told a man charged with impersonating his profession.

It emerged he had also refused to have his photo taken by the police.

In response, the magistrate taught him some law.

"The law allows the police to take your photo and so, just go back and come tomorrow after your photo is taken," the magistrate told him.

The suspect was arraigned the following day, this time well armed with a hood and a mask. No one recognised him until the magistrate ordered him to remove it.

***

There are more punishments than jail term and or fines.

A man who pleaded guilty to destroying trees in Ngong Forest will now have to plant more for three months following an order by a Nairobi magistrate ruled on Tuesday.

 

This is after he admitted to burning charcoal, in his defence, to feed his family.

"I entered the forest to burn charcoal but my apologies," he pleaded.

"You will plant trees for three month in the forest and help us conserve trees," the magistrate ruled.

Quite a reasonable punishment, wasn’t it?

***

Well, you might have loaned your friend some cash and they failed to return the cash. And out of frustrations, you took one of their items to pay yourself back. Well you committed a crime.

This is what a magistrate told as suspect. Who had done the same thing.

"You ought to have been charged with robbery not just this simple charge," the magistrate told the suspect, who had been charged with theft.

The man said he decided to “auction” his friends items after he refused to pay him back.

But the man and his co-accused insisted that it was not theft but a pay back business, to which the complainant admitted.

"Yes they took to pay back themselves and I forgive them," he told Kibera chief magistrate Abdulkadir Lorot.

The case was withdrawn.

***

In the same court, the magistrate was forced to tell the active prosecutor to allow him time to speak.

The prosecutor had become too active and was engaging the accused instead of allowing the magistrate to engage him.

"Bwana prosecutor, allow me to talk to him,” the magistrate said.