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Life imprisonment reduced to 20 years on appeal

A step-father who had been convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment by a Kiambu court for defiling his 10 year old daughter at Githogoro slums of Nairobi County will now serve 20 years imprisonment, after he successfully appealed against the sentence.

Wycliffe Amukaya Shilaho had been convicted and sentenced by chief magistrate at the Kiambu law court on September 18, 2018. Aggrieved, he appealed on grounds that one of the key elements, namely penetration was not proved to the requisite threshold.

He also noted that there were explicit contradictions and inconsistencies recorded which were fatal to the prosecution’s case. He went on to state that there was a grudge between him and PW2, who is his wife.

Lady Justice Lilian Mutende sitting in Kiambu during the August service week substituted the sentence on grounds that the appellant was a first offender and that there was room for him to reform. She however affirmed conviction but set aside the life sentence.

Particulars were that on December 26, 2010 he unlawfully had carnal knowledge of the minor contrary to section 8 (1) (2) of the sexual offences act No 3 of 2006. He faced an alternative charge of committing an indecent act with a minor by touching the private parts of the minor with his contrary to section 11(1) of the sexual offences act No.3 of 2006.

The court heard that one of the witnesses had a score to settle with him as he had not paid dowry for her as required by the customary law.

The respondent through state counsel Mr. Donnex Ongira opposed the appeal. He argued that the act of penetration was proved by evidence adduced by the minor, the mother and the doctor who confirmed that the child was defiled.

The court was told the mother of the complainant was seated outside their house with neighbours when she sent her to take some money (10 Sh) into the house. For the minor to reach the handbag, she climbed the bed on which the appellant, the step-father lay.

He held her and threatened to kill her if she screamed. In the process, he violated her sexually as he had done in the past. When the minor took too long in the house, PW2 entered to check only to find them in a compromising situation. The appellant managed to run away. They reported the matter to the chief then to the police.

The child was subjected to medical examination, subsequently the appellant was arrested and charged with the offence.

Upon being put on his defence, the appellant testified on oath that he had a quarrel with his wife the previous night following her complaint that he had not paid dowry to her parents and the morning of the material day she threatened to teach him a lesson if he did not honour the customary obligation.

The appellant is a beneficiary of ongoing appeal cases of convicts who had been convicted on a life sentence but their cases returned to courts for resentencing.


By Lydia Shiloya






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