At no point did he ever call me to say ‘I am sorry mum for what I did’.”
Those were Mrs Betty Tett’s words when her adopted son, William David Tett, was sentenced to death by a Nairobi magistrate Thursday. Although she regretted the harsh sentence, she said David had all the time he needed to change his ways. But he didn’t.
The magistrate, Mr Kiarie Waweru, found David guilty of robbing his foster father, Mr William Mulready Tett at gunpoint at lunchtime on September 6, 2011.
The facts presented in court indicate that David and two accomplices attacked his parents’ home in Karen, Nairobi, and robbed Mr Tett of Sh1,000 and a wallet containing a KCB ATM card, a Nakumatt smart card, medical cards and two mobile phones, all valued at Sh157,000.
David’s accomplices were shot dead by police during the 1pm robbery.
David, now 34, has been in custody since 2011 after the court denied him bail, although he had pleaded to be bonded on the grounds that he had diabetes. In a sworn affidavit opposing bail for David, Mrs Tett, a former nominated MP and assistant minister, expressed fears that David would interfere with witnesses and evidence if released.
“He has always kept threatening the family, I had to restructure my security detail, change my routes because of the consistent death threats I always get from people hired by him to come and kill me,” Mrs Tett said.
According to her, David had intended to kill his adopted parents so that he can inherit the family property.
“He used to claim for his share of property. Who is he? He is not even my own son. I only took care of him and in any case, I could have given him some property,” she said.
Mrs Tett adopted David after his own mother died.
“He came from a family of 11 children. His mother was not married, and when she died, I had to take him in, together with other children,” she said.
Among his siblings, David was always the odd one out. He lacked discipline and moral fibre.
“All others are doing great in England, USA and all over,” Mrs Tett said.
According to her, David had a bad record with women.
“He has had many women. We were even warning him of the dangers he was putting himself in by going out with many women,” she said.
Despite her efforts to mould him, David developed a bad character and was becoming a danger to the family.
“I took him to the best schools, not even my own children went there,” she said referring to St Christoper in Karen, where, as a student, David, then 17, impregnated a girl. He was a Form Two student at the time. He quit school and left home only to return years later as an adult, begging his adopted parents to take him back into the fold.
Mrs Tett, who had always kept tabs about him, readily took him back and helped to set him up in life.
What she did not know, however, was that David was no longer the same person she had known years earlier.
“He started asking for his share of the land. He became too extravagant,” she said.
According to her, David actually intended to kill her and Mr Tett on the day of the robbery, but his gun failed to fire.
Mrs Tett still remembers that day two years ago.
“I was helping street children and at 1pm, I decided to go to the doctor because I was not feeling well,” she recalled. On impulse, she called her husband. His line was not going through. She then called her househelp and farmhand. Same result. So she called yet another farmhand. Luckily, he answered and she asked him to check out what was happening.
“When he arrived and noticed many people were in the house, I told him to press the alarm,” Mrs Tett said. Not long after, police arrived. There was shooting, at the end of which David’s accomplices lay dead.
In his plea before the court, David said he had been carjacked by the robbers. But according to Tett’s husband, this was not true because David actually pointed a gun at his adopted father.
“They had even gone aside and David demanded money from him,” she said.
Yesterday, Mrs Tett watched in silence as her adopted son was sentenced. She had expected him to ask for a minute to apologise. He never did.
She was relieved when he was escorted from the courtroom, his hands in cuffs. It was a tough moment for her but now she can go to bed and sleep comfortably, knowing that the one person who would give her sleepless nights is safely behind bars.
But she has not given up. She still intends to visit him in prison, hoping that he will reform from behind bars.