Man jailed 40 years for attempting to kill school principal

Andrew Omondi at Eldama Ravine law court when he appeared before Senior Principal magistrate Judicaster Nthuku on December 17, 2018. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]
A man who attacked a school principal with a hammer inside her office has been jailed for 40 years.

Andrew Omondi was accused of attempting to kill former Toniok Girls School principal Sally Nabori.

Eldama Ravine Senior Principal Magistrate Judicaster Nthuku in a judgement delivered yesterday said evidence by prosecution witnesses was overwhelming and showed Andrew Omondi committed the offence.

Office attack

Omondi had been accused of attempting to kill Nabori after attacking her on October 10, 2017, in her office, armed with a hammer.

He was charged alongside Purity Mwendwa, who died on November 24 while awaiting judgement.

The duo were also charged with conspiring to kill the principal.

Omondi faced other charges of going to a public place while armed, impersonation, being in possession of bhang and being in unlawful possession of another person’s identity card.

The court heard that Omondi at the time of arrest was in possession of an identity card belonging to Caroline Namusya. He could not explain why he had the identity card.

Omondi is said to have travelled from Nairobi with one roll of bhang, a hammer and a photo of the principal.

He is said to have found the principal in her office some minutes to eight o’clock in the morning as she was preparing for class.

According Nabori, the accused approached her claiming he was seeking a job as a sports instructor at the school before attacking her with a hammer. He told her that he had been sent to kill her.

Principal’s testimony

She told the court that the man apologised before hitting her on the forehead.

A medical examination on the principal presented in court indicated that she sustained a cut on her eyebrow. A CT scan indicated that she suffered an orbital fracture.

Nthuku in her ruling held that the prosecution had proved the charges against the accused beyond reasonable doubt.

“From the evidence, it is evident that the first accused (Omondi) went to Toniok Girls in broad day light, he was first seen by the school watchman, then by the principal, this being daylight there was no case of mistaken identity,” stated the court in its judgment.

The court established that whereas Omondi claimed he was a resident of Sawmill  in Eldama Ravine, his uncle who bailed him out revealed that the accused was a sports instructor from Langata, Nairobi.

Nthuku noted that the recovery of the hammer and the testimony of the principal proved to the court that the attack was premeditated.

“You went to kill and not to maim,” ruled the magistrate.

Prosecutor Benjamin Kelwon described the attacker as a hit-man who might harm others if released.

He said the victim was yet to recover from the incident and had since sought transfer from the institution.

“The accused is a hit-man, he was sent and was on a specific mission to eliminate the principal. He had to do it in broad daylight. It’s worth noting he was not known to the principal and had no grudge... he only had the photo and the complainants work station,” said Kelwon.

In mitigation the accused said he was attacked and robbed. He maintained that he was not the suspect behind the attack on the principal.

Father of three

He said he is a father of three children aged between one and seven years and was the sole breadwinner. His mother, he said, was also dependent on him.

“I was at the wrong time at the wrong time,” he said.

The magistrate described the boldness with which the attack was carried out as “scary.”

“The boldness with which he executed the attack sends shivers down one’s spine,” said the magistrate.

Attempted murderschool principal