A man convicted for defiling a minor aged seven will spend the rest of his life in jail after he lost an appeal seeking the sentence reduced.
High Court Judge William Musyoka in his judgement said the appeal filed by Emmanuel Japala Eliakim challenging the conviction did not raise serious grounds to warrant the sentence being reduced or set aside.
Japala was convicted by then Butere Principal Magistrate Maureen Shimenga for defiling the class two victim on February 8, 2016 at their Wambelishe Village, Khwisero sub-county.
He was also found guilty of committing indecent acts with a child namely caressing her genitalia inappropriately.
The trial court was told that the minor who was living with her grandmother had gone to a neighbours house when he found Japala milking the cows.
He is said to have lured the complainant with sugarcane where he locked the minor in his small hut before defiling her.
The court heard that he covered the victim with a cloth on her mouth before undressing her and laying her on the bed.
After the painful ordeal, the girl was released where she informed her granny immediately who took her to Khwisero District Hospital where penetration was confirmed and the matter reported to the police.
Douglas Maonga, a clinical officer who attended the complainant to the court that he found blood stains, bruises and lacerations in her genitalia.
Justice Musyoka dismissed allegations of bad blood and grudge between the appellant and the family of the complainant.
Japala had also contended that the life penalty imposed on him was harsh and excessive adding that he was convicted on suspicions, fictitious and inconsistent evidence.
The appellant further submitted that the prosecution did not seek his consent in obtaining DNA samples from him to build the prosecution case.
Further, the samples, he insisted, were extracted by an officer below the rank of an Inspector of Police which contravenes Section 36(5) of the Sexual Offence Act making the results inadmissible as evidence.
Justice Musyoka observed that, though the DNA results were indeed inadmissible as prosecution evidence on grounds that an officer below the rank of an inspector extracted the samples.
However, he said the testimony of the other witnesses was sufficient to warrant a conviction.
The Judge noted that the accused was positively identified by the complainant since he was a shamba-boy attached to the victim’s neighbour making it a case of recognition other than that of identification.
He added that the allegation of fabrication of the case due to bad blood between the complainant’s family and the appellant was farfetched saying there existed a cordial relationship between the two.
“All elements of defilement were confirmed. The prosecution build on their case to the required standards of proof. From the record, there was no bad blood between the appellant and the victim, the appellants’ allegations of fabrication cannot stand,” said Justice Musyoka.
He maintained that the life sentence imposed was lawful as it is the minimum penalty prescribed by the Act for defilement against a minor below 11 years.
“The trial court could not have granted a lesser sentence than the one prescribed by the law. Appeal on both the conviction and sentence must fail, the same are upheld,” Justice Musyoka ruled.
He granted the Japala 14 days to lodge an appeal at the Court of Appeal.