A 35-year-old man has been sentenced to serve 40 years in jail by a Kericho court after he was found guilty of defiling his three-year-old niece.
Kericho Senior Resident Magistrate Aziza Ajwang convicted Wesley Langat of the defilement that happened on September 7, 2021 at Chemoiben village in Bureti Sub-county of Kericho County.
The court heard that on the fateful day, the minor’s mother was preparing dinner for her family at around 7pm when her sister-in-law and neighbour entered her kitchen without her three-year-old daughter who they had earlier left with on an errand to the local shop.
When she asked where her baby was, she informed that the accused had taken her to a nearby shop to buy her sweets.
The mother opted to go look for her daughter and on arrival at the gate of her home at around 8pm, she met the accused carrying the child who was crying and immediately took the girl from him.
She asked the accused why the minor was crying and he told her that she had been pricked by a thorn but on checking her daughter whose clothes were soiled, she found no injuries and walked back to her house where she had dinner together with her family before retiring to bed.
The complainant cried throughout the night and the following morning refused to leave her bed prompting her mother to alert a neighbour who came along with a village elder and upon examining her daughter, they decided to take the minor to Kapkatet district hospital for medical examination where she was treated and the matter reported to police.
A clinical officer who examined the minor told the court that there was partial penetration.
A P3 form and lab reports tabled before the court confirmed that attempted penetration had taken place.
In his defense, the accused gave an unsworn testimony where he denied committing the offence but he did not deny the fact that he brought home the minor who was crying and told the mother of the child that she had been pricked by a thorn.
In mitigation, the accused informed the court that he has three children who depended on him and pleaded for leniency.
However, the magistrate found the accused guilty and handed him a 40-year in jail.
“The accused’s line of defense was mere denial which could not shake the watertight evidence presented by the prosecution against the accused person. I hereby find that the evidence adduced has confirmed beyond any reasonable doubt that the accused committed the act which caused penetration with the alleged victim who was a child aged three years. I therefore find him guilty and convict him of defilement contrary to the Sexual Offences Act of 2006 as charged,” ordered Ajwang.
The court reminded the accused of his right to appeal the sentence within 14 days if dissatisfied.
By Sarah Njagi