A 53-year-old man from Meru who pleaded guilty to defiling his nine-year-old daughter in their kitchen will spend the rest of his life behind bars, a court has ruled.
Maua Principal Magistrate Carol Obara also ordered that the man be restrained from having any contact with the daughter until she attains 18 years.
The ruling, meant to deter would-be child molesters, came at a time when the country is facing increased cases of child defilement.
The magistrate also directed that the mother takes custody of the child and that they both be counselled to ease their trauma.
CASES ON THE RISE
Ms Obara termed the act “barbaric and unacceptable”, regretting that cases of defilement are on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic when children are at home.
The accused stood crestfallen and did not offer any mitigation when the charges were explained to him in Kimeru language.
“The accused did not offer any mitigation. That alone shows that he is not even remorseful for what he did. I take judicial notice of the rise of sexual offence cases especially during the current Covid-19 pandemic. Offenders are taking advantage of children who are at home as schools remain closed. In order to deter other would-be offenders, the accused is hereby sentenced to life imprisonment. I also order that the accused be restrained from having any kind of contact with the child during her minor life,” Ms Obara ruled.
The court heard how on June 12, 2020, the man found the child lighting fire to prepare lunch and dragged her to a nearby bed, removed her clothes and defiled her.
CRYING IN PAIN
The girl’s brother heard her crying in pain and went to investigate and found the man defiling her.
He raised the alarm attracting residents who frog marched the man to the local police post.
The girl also reported the matter and was treated at Nyambene Sub-County Hospital.
The man was first arraigned last week and after he pleaded guilty, Ms Obara suspended sentencing and ordered that a psychiatric assessment be carried out to ascertain if he was fit to stand trial.
She ordered for victim impact assessment report and asked the children’s department to visit the family’s home so that the court could have a clear picture of the situation.
State Counsel Kang’ethe, who was prosecuting, told the court that the man was indeed mentally fit and urged the court to mete out a severe jail term to act as a warning to others.
“I urge the court to consider the girl’s age. She was subjected to a painful experience by the person who was meant to take care of her. We ask the court to consider a punitive sentence in order [for him] to be an example to other would-be offenders,” said Mr Kang’ethe.