Parents and guardians in Kiambu County have been warned against striking out-of-court settlements with suspects in Defilement related cases to ensure that justice was served to the victims.
Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate Ms.Stella Atambo said the law does not allow parties in defilement cases to reconcile by attempting to settle such matters outside court.
“It is not the parent who is the complainant but the child and the law is very clear that there can be no settlement outside court since the child should get justice,” she said.
“Defilements are very serious cases involving children and nobody, not even the biological parent, can be allowed to finalise the case outside court.”
The magistrate sounded the warning in court yesterday during hearing of a case in which a mother of a 7-year-old boy attempted to withdraw a case in which a female teacher has been charged with defiling her standard one pupil at a private school in Kiambu.
When the case came up for plea taking, the middle aged woman told the court that it was not true and it was at this point that the magistrate enquired to know the relationship between the accused and the complainant. “I am a teacher at the school where the boy goes,”
It was at this point that the mother to the complainant who was seated at the back stood up to intervene as the accused responded to the magistrate. She identified herself and went ahead to explain that her child had been taken for treatment and that he would continue with medication for about 7 months “and so I wish to withdraw the case”
Ms. Atambo explained to her that there was no window in the law that allowed parents even if they were biological to withdraw such a case from court.
“You cannot solve such a case outside the corridors of justice and if you are found, you will be arrested and charged yourself; go educate this to all your neighbours,” she said.
The magistrate warned that perpetrators of defilement if found guilty will be sentenced to a life imprisonment if the child was under 12 years. This reflects how the law has put in place measures to ensure that children were not exposed to any suffering in the hands of offenders.
In the case, Zipporah Kinya Burugu was charged that on February 7 she unlawfully used a stick to penetrate the anus of a minor. She faced an alternative charge on the same day and venue, she intentionally and unlawfully touched the anus of the minor.
She pleaded not guilty to the 2 counts and the magistrate said she could be released on a bond of 300,000 shillings. She was not given an option of a cash bail and was remanded at Langata Women prison.
The case will be heard on April 2, and will be mentioned on 27 February 2019.
By Lydia shiroya