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Man gets life for killing wife, defiling daughter

11 April 2016, 13:06 Joseph Njung'eh

Nyeri - A middle-aged man accused of killing his wife and defiling his 11-year-old daughter before going into hiding for four years has been sentenced to life imprisonment by a Nyeri court.

Resident Magistrate Christine Wekesa condemned James Wahome to life imprisonment after finding him guilty of defilement, but was let off the hook over murder of his wife Jane Nyambura for lack of evidence.

The prosecution contended that they could not pursue murder charge against him for lack of witnesses, adding that no postmortem was done on the body to establish the cause of her death.

Wahome allegedly committed the crime on the night of October 19 and 20 in 2011 at his home in Mweiga, Kieni West District before fleeing to the adjacent Othaya Township where he was employed in a hotel as a cook until his time of arrest early last year.

According to the prosecution, the accused turned himself in at Othaya police station on May 12 last year, where he confessed to the offenses.

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His underage step-daughter who was the only key witness in the matter narrated to the court how the accused defiled her and how she discovered her mother’s body.

The minor who broke down severally while testifying said on the fateful night, his father grabbed her and took her into her bedroom where he defiled her for two hours before disappearing to an unknown destination.

The now 15-year-old girl continued that during the ordeal, she kept screaming and calling for her mother to come to her aid to no avail.

She reported that it was after his disappearance that she went to look for her in her bedroom only to discover her lifeless body lying on the bed with a bed sheet tied around her neck, a pointer to possible strangulation.

The minor said she reported the matter to the neighbors who called in the police, while she took her siblings to her grandmother’s place a few kilometers away.

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The accused however denied committing the offense, saying he was on his way to report the death of his wife to the police when he was arrested.

He nonetheless, in a previous hearing, told the court that he killed his wife for infecting him with HIV, saying there was no way he could have defiled the daughter and fail to infect her with the deadly virus.

The prosecution dismissed his allegation, saying it could have been one of the few cases of discordant persons where one can have unprotected sex with an infected person and not get the virus.

The magistrate in her ruling said the evidence of the girl was consistent and weighty given her systematic recollection of what transpired coupled with her breaking down while testifying.

She further said his conduct of running away after the incident demonstrated a guilty conscience and the court had no reason to doubt his culpability.

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