A notorious robber who had been handed the death sentence for violently robbing five people in various locations in Kikuyu Sub County in 2014 will now serve 30 years after he appealed against the sentence and conviction before Kiambu High Court.
Benson Ngugi Kinyanjui had been tried and convicted by Kikuyu Principal Magistrate Daniel Musyoka on May 17, 2017, for violently robbing five complainants in various locations within Kikuyu sub-county.
After a series of robberies, the first complainant succumbed to the injuries as the evidence adduced to the court by his son Paul Macharia and brother Mbugua Jeremy convinced the magistrate that the appellant was the attacker.
The court heard that DNA found in the blood samples that were found on the hammer which was recovered in the house of the appellant matched with that of the deceased and that his phone which was recovered among other suspected stolen items in his house had the photograph of the deceased as its screensaver.
Lady Justice Esther Maina sitting at Kiambu High Court after hearing the appeal ruled that the appellant had been sentenced to death because it was a mandatory sentence.
She said, “In the case of Francis Muruatetu and two others versus Republic, the Supreme Court, held that such mandatory sentences are unconstitutional and the courts should be left to determine the sentence depending on the circumstances of the case.”
She said that the appellant when asked to mitigate stated that he had nothing to say.
“Nevertheless I find that considering that he did not have any intercedes the sentence of death is extensive. Accordingly, I uphold the convictions on all the three counts but set aside the sentence of death on count 1 and 3 and substitute it within 30 years on each of those counts. The sentences shall run concurrently but consecutively to the sentence of two years imprisonment in respect to count 4.” Justice Maina added.
Particulars of count one stated that on October 25, 2014, at Kerwa village in Kikuyu sub-county within Kiambu County, the appellant jointly with others not before court while armed with dangerous weapons namely pangas and a multipurpose pen-knife robbed George Irungu Maina his Samsung mobile phone, personal documents and an unknown amount of money and that during the incident used actual violence on the complainant.
In count two he was charged that on November 11, 2014, at Muguga village in Kikuyu Sub County while armed similarly, he violently robbed Paul Ng’ang’ a Ndung’u a wallet, ID, police clearance certificate application receipt, a jacket, a bag, PSV Conductor’s uniform and Ksh. 3,300 all valued at Ksh. 5,800.
Count three stated that on November 4, 2014, along Nairobi-Naivasha Highway at Kiambaa area in Kikuyu Sub County jointly with others not before court violently robbed Moses Wainaina Wairimu a mobile phone make Nokia C-3, a tablet make Ezzar, a wallet containing his ID and a voter’s card all valued at Sh. 23,000.
In count four, the court heard that on December 1, 2014 at Rironi village in Kikuyu having been detained by IP Christopher Kimiti, Sergeant Hassan Eshimharamu and PC Patrick Kibera in exercise of the power conferred upon them by section 26 of the CPC had in his possession eight assorted mobile phones namely two Nokias, a Techno, an L9, a M139, an iPhone, a Samsung and 9 assorted types of jackets reasonably suspected to have been stolen or unlawfully obtained.
He pleaded not guilty and the prosecution produced 13 witnesses to prove its case. On his part, the appellant made an unsworn statement in which he maintained his innocence and detailed his arrest.
Lady Justice Maina of Nyamira High court heard the appeal during the service week and the Judgement was read in open court by the duty of Judge Lady Justice Christine Meoli. During a service week, courts get services of visiting judicial officers to help reduce the backlog of cases.