Ex-TV star Esther Arunga avoids jail

Former TV star Esther Arunga.
A former Kenyan television presenter Esther Arunga who pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder has been handed a 10-month jail term but was immediately freed on parole.

It is notable that the court considered Arunga’s mindset when sentencing her.

Judge Martin Burns observed that Arunga’s beliefs had led to her tribulations as she tried bring up a family in a foreign land, and worse still, losing a son in the process.

The former KTN news anchor was convicted by Queensland court on Thursday in a case that has dragged on for years.

Arunga was charged with misleading the police after her three-year-old son Sinclair Timberlake died as a result of blunt force trauma to his abdomen. She admitted that she lied in order to protect her husband, Quincy Timberlake.

Quincy Timberlake was charged with the murder of their son, Sinclair.

Australian Associated Press quoted Crown Prosecutor Danny Boyle saying Arunga called emergency services and told them that the boy had fallen down the stairs. But an autopsy revealed Sinclair died “as a result of a severe blunt force such as punching or stamping or similar” and his injuries were inconsistent with a fall.

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It wasn’t until Timberlake was involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility that Arunga changed her statement. She told police that she went to the bathroom on the night of June 17, 2014, to find Quincy hitting Sinclair in the stomach before throwing the boy against the wall.

Mr Boyle said although Arunga did not interfere with evidence, her inaccurate account delayed investigations and her husband’s arrest. Arunga’s lawyer, Katarina Prskalo, said her client believed her husband was mentally unwell.

Parole

But on Thursday, Arunga got a reprieve after the court released her on parole.

According to Australia’s gotocourt.com.au , Parole in Western Australia is granted to prisoners who comply with prison rules and show a commitment to maintaining a positive lifestyle and to becoming a valuable member of the community.

“If parole is granted, a parole order will set out the date of release and the specific conditions that have to be met while on parole. A parolee is usually supervised and must comply with certain conditions to protect the community and to allow the Board to monitor the parolee’s circumstances and behaviour.”

Troubles

Arunga's tragedy started when she joined the Finger of God Church in Kenya.

Many fans were confused when the one-time star KTN news anchor publicly made some shocking announcements regarding politics, her relationships, spirituality as she rebuked the "satanism" that, in her books, had riddled the Kenyan political system.

Some would argue that she was headed for a nosedive when she joined the bizarre Finger of God Church, an establishment run by her distant relative and talented saxophonist Joseph Hellon. It was there that she met Wilson Malaba, a former church elder, and later husband Quincy Timberlake.

 [Additional Reporting by Cyrus Ombati & Elaine Kirui]

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Esther ArungaQuincy TimberlakeMurderEsther Arunga parole