A magistrate was rushed to hospital yesterday after she was stabbed by a man she had just convicted for assault.
Immediately Nakuru Resident Magistrate Eunice Kelli pronounced her three-year sentence against Michael Kuhora Njeru, the convict leaped out of the dock and pounced on Edith Adhiambo — the complainant — who was seated in the front bench in the courtroom.
Witnesses said Njeru whipped out a screwdriver which he had hidden in his coat and attacked Adhiambo several times in the neck and left thigh.
Screaming for help and with blood gushing from her wounds, Adhiambo took cover behind the magistrate with Njeru hot in pursuit. It is then that Njeru directed his anger at the magistrate.
A female court orderly who went to the rescue of the magistrate and the complainant was not spared either. She sustained a cut in her index finger as she tried to grab the weapon from the crazed assailant.
Blood soaked files were strewn all over the 10 feet by 10 feet Court No. 12.
Ms Kelli suffered a deep cut in the upper right hand and another in the back. She was rushed to Agha Khan Hospital in the town.
Senior police officers led by County Commandant Hassan Barua rushed to the scene and picked up the suspect. He was locked up at Central Police Station.
Adhiambo who was rushed to Mediheal Hospital is said to have been treated and discharged.
Witnesses told The Standard that the magistrate, before pronouncing her judgment, had asked the suspect if he had anything to say in mitigation.
"He refused the offer and told the magistrate to go ahead and pass the sentence as she deemed fit," said Gaudencia Kedogo, one of the witnesses.
Lawyers and court clerks asked the Judiciary and the police to arm court orderlies.
"If the suspect was armed with a gun, many people would have been killed. It is high time the Government considers arming the orderlies," said Hilary Sogoyo, a prosecutor.
A police officer who spoke to us on condition of anonymity said the orderlies deployed at the courts were fresh recruits. "We need to have experienced officers who can detect and respond to dangers without much difficulties," said the officer who requested anonymity.