The High Court has substituted a life sentence for a woman who defiled her 11-year-old nephew and risked transmitting the Aids causing virus to him.
RAM on Friday wore a smiling face after Judge Jesse Njagi said that although the offence attracted a deterrent sentence, life in jail wass inappropriate.
Justice Njagi, however, said a sentence of 35 years would serve sufficient punishment to help her pay for the offence and start life afresh.
In the rare defilement case, RAM was accused of defiling the Standard Three pupil on September 2, 2017 at Shiseso village, Kakamega South.
The complainant told the trial court that he was picking some guava fruits with two of his friends in a nearby thicket when RAM approached them.
From a distance, she beckoned the boy to where she was, in obedience to his aunt oblivious of what awaited him.
Upon reaching where the single mother of one was, she undressed him quickly before defiling him.
The boy screamed and attracted his peers to intervene. The two young friends found RAM in the act of defilement where they pulled the boy and ran away.
Out of fear the boy never reported the matter to his parents until days later when he started experiencing some rashes in his genitals. He decided to open up to his class teacher who took him to hospital.
The minor was diagnosed with syphilis, a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) and put under medication.
He narrated his ordeal which led to her arrest and subsequent prosecution.
After she was found guilty she pleaded for leniency, saying she was HIV positive.
Kakamega Senior Principal Magistrate Hazel Wandere, however, said the only punishment provided for under the Sexual Offences Act was life in jail.
RAM appealed the decision at the High Court, saying the sentence was harsh and excessive and that she was remorseful.
She sought the sentence to be substituted with a non-custodial sentence, saying she was the sole breadwinner of her son aged 17.
However, Justice Njagi affirmed that the offence she committed was serious and attracted a deterrent sentence.
“The appellant defiled a child of 11 years who was a relative. She was HIV positive, and thereby exposed the child to possible infection ,” said the judge.
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