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Mother jailed for killing three-year-old daughter to get job in Nairobi

By Kamau Muthoni | Published Wed, December 21st 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 20th 2016 at 21:59 GMT +3

A woman who threw her three-year-old daughter into a river  has been sentenced to seven years in jail.

Carolyne Nyaboke, 21, who killed her daughter in order to secure a job as a house help, escaped the death penalty after a plea-bargain agreement with the State.

Under the agreement, she pleaded guilty to the lesser offence of manslaughter.

“The actions of the accused portray her as a heartless human being who does not deserve the leniency of this court. The accused must take full responsibility for her heinous crime which to me, is a demonstration of how low the human race has sunk in terms of respect for human life,” ruled High Court judge Wilfrida Okwany.

“I find that the accused was old enough to know the consequences of her actions. She had several options at her disposal to either reject the job offer, give up the child to a children’s home for adoption or leave her with her parents but she chose to do the unthinkable by throwing the baby into the raging river.”

According to Justice Okwany the woman did not deserve mercy as she sacrificed her own daughter for money.

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The judge was puzzled at how the accused could take care of other peoples’ children bearing in mind that she had an option of giving up the child for adoption or even taking her to a children’s home, but she opted to drown her in a raging river.


“It is inconceivable and indeed, difficult to comprehend how a sane mother can be so cruel to her own child to the extent of ending her young innocent life on the ground that the child had become an obstacle to her job prospects. Considering that the job of a housemaid entails taking care of young children, one wonders what sort of a maid the accused could have been if she had the guts to mercilessly kill her own child. Consequently, I sentence the accused to serve seven years imprisonment which sentence shall run from the date of her first court appearance,” the judge found.

During the hearing it emerged that the accused person had secured a job in Nairobi’s Umoja estate but her employer was emphatic that she could not bring her infant along. It is then that she hatched a plan to eliminate the child together with her husband on April 10 this year. They agreed to dump the baby as she had become the only obstacle to her objective.

“The accused was the mother of the deceased yet she had no qualms ending her own baby’s life so that she could be ‘free to take up a job offer in Nairobi’,” Okwany noted.

The woman went ahead with the plan at night at Iyabe River. The baby was recovered lifeless two days later. Nyaboke told the court she was remorseful and pleaded for a non-custodial sentence instead. But the judge rejected the prayers and said that she needed to learn a lesson for her actions behind bars.

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