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Man sentenced to death after appealing jail term

11 December 2013, 17:24 Joseph Njung’eh

Nyeri - A middle-aged man got a rude shock Wednesday after Nyeri High Court dismissed his appeal and rather sentenced him to death.

Daniel Kamanyi Kamau had appealed against a ruling that was delivered by a subordinate court which had found him guilty of a simple robbery and imprisoned him for 20 years.

However, High Court judges, Justice James Wakiaga and Justice Anthony Ombwayo, poured cold water on the convict and substituted the earlier charges of robbery with robbery with violence charges.

Kamau was charged that on December 25, 2007 at Kiangai village in Nyeri County, while armed with a Panga robbed Charles Ngirigacha of cash and a coat all valued at KES 12,700 and wounded the said person during the incident.

He was tried and convicted of a simple robbery charges under section 296(1) of the penal code, and then sentenced to 20 years imprisonment.

Kamau was eventually aggrieved with the ruling and decided to appeal in the higher court.

In his appeal submissions, he cited five grounds saying that the maximum sentence for simple robbery was 14 years and therefore the magistrate erred in law by sentencing him to 20 years.

Kamau said he was arrested on January 8, 2008 but was taken to court on January 22, adding that the charge sheet was defective in regard to the place where he was arrested.

The charge sheet had indicated that he was arrested at Kiangai in Nyeri instead of Kirinyaga County, and that he was arrested before the offence was committed, according to Kamau.

Kamau noted that the evidence on record was not sufficient to sustain the said conviction since the magistrate pointed out that the complainant did not know who robbed him.

He further said his defence that he was being framed was not taken into account and the trial magistrate erred by over relying on dock identification.

However, while delivering the death ruling, the two judges said the complainant had known the appellant for a long time and gave his name to the police.

“From the evidence, the court is of the considered opinion the appellant was placed at the scene of robbery by three witnesses and the clothes he was wearing were positively identified and the conviction was proper,” the judges said.

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