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Couple jailed for killing their baby

A  man and his wife were  on Tuesday sentenced to serve 15 years imprisonment each by a Narok High Court for killing their  one-and half -year- old baby.

Emmanuel Kiprotich Sigei, 25 and Irene Nalomuta Sigei, 23 had bought a chemical used to spray livestock from an agrovet  shop and given it to the baby apparently because she was sickly, unlike their first child.

They  had appeared before Narok Resident Judge, Justice  Justus  Bwonwong`a charged with the murder of baby Brenda Chepkorir  at Nasitori area in Narok South Sub County on February 6, 2014.

The court had heard that on the fateful day, Kiprotich went to an agrovet shop nearby and bought the said poison.

After they administered the poison to the baby, his wife Irene took the minor to her parents in law who were living nearby  pretending that she was going to fetch water but it was part of the larger scheme to escape. The baby died minutes later in her grandfather`s hands.

The judge said the prosecution had proved their case beyond reasonable doubts. “The evidence produced in this court  clearly shows the accused actually gave their baby poison and left her to die in the hands of their parents as they  escaped,” Justice Bwonwong`a said.

He said the prosecution had even produced the trader of the agrovet who testified how Kiprotich bought the poison from him and the container which had the poison he bought was found in their house.

Postmortem examination on the body of the baby also confirmed that she had died from the poison she had consumed.

According to the law, the accused persons were supposed to be sentenced to a mandatory death sentence for the offense of  murder but in meting out a 15-year sentence, the judge said he considered various issues such as the mitigation where the  convicts pleaded for leniency, saying they were the sole breadwinner for the remaining child.

The  Supreme Court had in December 2017 also ruled that death sentence was against the Constitution which guarantees the  right to life.

The  highest court in the land then directed that any court dealing with capital offenses should be allowed to use judicial discretion when delivering judgments.

This  followed an appeal by Francis Karioko Murwatetu and another who had appealed and questioned the constitutionality of death sentence. The Supreme Court in its ruling on this matter then said the mandatory death sentence is unconstitutional.

The  apex court judges further directed the Attorney General, the Director of Public Prosecution and other agencies to prepare a detailed professional review of cases regarding sentencing. They also ordered that the law be placed before the National Assembly speaker for necessary amendments to the law.

In  Kenyan laws, there are only three offenses that carry the death penalty and are referred to as capital offenses. They include; robbery with violence, murder and treason or sedition

There is currently a clamour to abolish death sentence in the country. Some civil societies have been lobbying to have this penalty abolished, saying it is inhuman and violated right to life.

By  Mabel Keya-Shikuku

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