Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Home > Editor's Pick > Duty of surety is to ensure that accused attends court

Duty of surety is to ensure that accused attends court

A  Kiambu court declined to proceed with a theft case when the accused woman, whose husband had stood as surety, failed to accompany her spouse to court.

The  Kiambu Resident Magistrate (RM), Ms. Rita Orora clarified that the case could not continue with the surety taking the position of an accused person since their role was clearly defined when they appeared in court.

The  RM  explained that surety was meant to ensure that an accused person attends court proceeds to the conclusion of the case for which they faced trial.

Ms. Orora  made the clarification on Monday in a case in which a man who stood surety for his wife appeared during the proceedings to give the terms of payment of items which the wife was accused of stealing.

Esther  Muthoni Geche had been arraigned before the same court last week and was charged that on diverse dates between 4th December 2019 and 12 February 2020 at Kirigiti area within Kiambu County, she stole one vision television “32” inch valued at Sh.14,995, one LG home-theatre radio valued at Sh.24,000, one phone make Microsoft valued at Sh.15,000, one door mat valued at Sh.500, property worth Sh.54,495 belonging to one Jane Wambui.

She faced an alternative charge that on the 22nd February, 2020 at Juja area of Ruiru Sub-county within Kiambu County, in the course of stealing, she dishonestly retained the TV, phone and door mat all valued at Sh.30, 495 knowing or having reason to believe them to be stolen goods contrary to section 322 (1)(2) of the Penal Code.

Upon arraignment in court while carrying a 3 months old baby, the RM sought to know if she was in the company of any relative and that was when the husband owned up and was sworn in to act as her surety. She also pleaded guilty to the charge, saying the stolen property had been recovered except the radio.

She explained that they were talking with the complainant with a view of reconciling so that she could pay for the radio which was missing from the items that were recovered in her possession in her house. The duo were friends living in the same plot when the offence was committed.

The  RM allowed them more time after she explained that if she was given two days, she could be in a position to pay the complainant so that she could withdraw the case against her.

When the case was mentioned, the husband appeared in court saying that the baby was feeling unwell after it was exposed to the cold weather when his wife was arraigned in court to take a plea.

He also said he had Sh.3, 000 which he intended to give the complainant as part payment for her radio worth Sh.24, 000 and that because of the prevailing Covid -19 pandemic  which has affected the economic power of scores of Kenyans, he required to be given two months to raise the balance.

The complainant who appeared angered could not hear of it and it was at this point that the RM noted “we cannot continue with proceedings of the case in the absence of the accused”.

The case was therefore given a mention date on 10th July when the parties were expected to appear in court with a status report of their payment schedule before the case could be withdrawn.

The Judicial process allows people with petty cases to reconcile outside court so that such cases do not waste time for hearing of big cases involving large sums of money.

By  Lydia  Shiloya

Leave a Reply