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Guard gets 10 years for transformer vandalism

02 July 2013, 16:31 Wangui Joseph

A 35-year-old night guard was on Tuesday fined KES 5 Million by a Nyeri court in default serve 10 years in jail for vandalizing a Kenya Power (KPLC) transformer and stealing copper binding wires all worth KES 183 237.

Before Chief Magistrate Wilbrodah Juma, Patrick Muchoki Mwithika was found guilty of committing the offence on the night of December 8 and 9, 2012 at Kiganjo power station within Nyeri County.

The court heard that Muchoki who was an employee of Brinks Security Company was on duty on the material night but left the following morning at 5.30Am, earlier than usual. He was a dog handler guarding the store where the transformers were kept.

His colleague reported in the morning to take over security duty but found he had already left and upon inspection discovered that three transformers had been opened and one vandalized.

The security company’s manager Stephen Muema was informed but when he tried calling him on phone there was no answer.

In defence Muchoki said he had left the place at the stipulated time and was arrested in Nyeri town on his personal errands.

The arresting officer Constable Peter Ogola informed court that the arrest was made three days after the incident and his uniform was stained with transformer oil.

The magistrate said prosecution adduced enough evidence and that it is clear the transformer was vandalized adding that his departure before the stipulated time left no doubt that he committed the offence.

In mitigation Muchoki pleaded for leniency saying he has a wife and child who both depend on him for a living but the magistrate responded that there was very little the court could do since the law provides for stiff penalties to such offences.

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