A 27-year old man will spend the rest of his life in prison after he was found guilty of defiling his seven year old niece in his home within Molo sub county in July last year.
The accused John Karanja, who was convicted by Molo Resident magistrate, Emmanuel Soita had denied the charges in September last year after which the prosecution produced six witnesses whose evidence convinced the magistrate that Karanja was guilty as charged.
Karanja’s spirited defense while crying did not move Mr. Soita who stressed curtly, “The law is very clear on such offences and the only sentence provided for defilement of a child aged 11 years and below is life Imprisonment.”
The minor had told the court that on 30th July, 2018 at Keep Left area in Molo sub-county, she was at her uncle’s (the accused) house and during the night, he sneaked her out of the house, undressed and defiled her.
The prosecution submitted that Karanja committed the offense as his wife was asleep and as he did so threatened the complainant with death if she revealed the heinous act.
Dr. Rodgers Namisi of Molo sub-county hospital had informed the court that on examining the minor, he established that she had been defiled.
“After examining the minor, I filled up all my findings in the P3 form which I duly signed. There was overwhelming indicators that the minor had been sexually assaulted,” testified Dr. Namisi.
The court heard that the accused’s wife upon observing unusual behavior by the minor, she informed the mother. The minor had refused to go to school and started complaining of a burning sensation in the abdomen.
The girl’s mother Priscillah Wangui told the court she became concerned and in turn asked her mother own mother (the girl’s grandmother) Hannah Nyambura who lived with them and always accompanied the minor to school to conduct further investigations.
In her testimony Nyambura stated that after two days, she noticed that her grandchild had soiled her clothes back from school which was unusual prompting her to take the minor for medical examination.
“We were very shocked at the doctor’s findings that the minor had been defiled. We were further surprised when she named the culprit as her own uncle. It is only then that we learnt that it was the third time he had committed the atrocious act against his own niece,” the grandmother said.
In what appeared to be a belated change of heart, the accused’s wife Jane Wanjiku through a sworn statement told the court that the minor had on several occasions spent nights at their matrimonial home. In her husband’s defense she told Mr. Soita that she would have noticed if Karanja would have left their bed on any particular night.
In mitigation, the culprit said he was a young man and was pursuing college education adding he would appreciate if the court would treat him leniently. He maintained that he had been fixed.
The magistrate however observed that the evidence adduced by the witnesses corroborated and proved a prima facie case against Karanja. Mr Soita observed that both the minor and the accused were also subjected to medical examination which formed the core base of evidence before court.
While handing the life imprisonment, the magistrate said the crime committed by the accused person was very serious and reminded him of his right to appeal within 14 days if unsatisfied with the judgment.
By Emily Kadzo and Anne Njuguna