Boda boda riders deny damaging police cell

Thursday March 14 2019

Mweiga Police Station

John Kariuki (left) and Erick Mwangi appear before a Nyeri court on March 14, 2019. They denied charges of malicious damage of a cell at Mweiga Police Station. PHOTO | JOSEPH WANGUI | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

JOSEPH WANGUI
By JOSEPH WANGUI
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Two boda boda operators charged with malicious damage of a cell in Mweiga Police Station have denied the accusations.

Mr John Kariuki and Mr Erick Mwangi on Thursday told Nyeri Senior Resident Magistrate Harrison Adika that they had been implicated by the police.   

The two were accused of demolishing a section of a police cell wall in Mweiga Police Station on the night of May 5, 2018 after being arrested for being drunk and disorderly.

Police inspectors Isaac Kituyi and Robert Keith, on Thursday testified that the suspects pulled down a wall which was made of concrete stones.

“At around 3am officers on duty heard prisoners shouting at the main male cell. They found the two prisoners kicking the door. Several stones fell and the door was damaged,” said Inspector Keith.

SIX PRISONERS

But the accused, through lawyer Wabandi Gacheru, told the court that the cell had six other prisoners.

“According to the photos taken at the scene of the alleged crime, the size of the concrete stones are not proportional to the gap on the wall. The space is too small and it is not possible to cause the damage with bare hands,” Mr Gacheru added.

He argued that the concrete stones might have been carried from elsewhere and put at the scene to be photographed for use as exhibit in court.   

EVIDENCE

“Nobody saw the accused persons breaking the wall. There is nothing in court to show the condition of the cell before the damage. I urge the court to find the accused are not guilty,” argued the lawyer.

But the prosecution argued that there was consistent evidence against the accused.

“The accused were booked in the cell. The debris was removed from scene to create space for the prisoners to leave the cell,” said the prosecutor in response to the lawyer’s argument that the scene (of the crime) had been tampered with.

A ruling on whether the two have a case to answer will be made on March 26.