An Eldoret court has sentenced a 28-year-old man to seven years in prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing his neighbour's ram.
Elisha Kibungei, who was arraigned before Principal Magistrate Sylvia Wewa, also faced another count of handling stolen goods.
According to the charge sheet, Kibungei, jointly with another person who did not appear in court, stole the ram valued at Sh6,000 on August 13 at Jerusalem village in Soy sub-county.
The court heard that three days after the offence was committed, Kibungei was found with the ram in a market.
Shortly after Kibungei admitted his guilt, the prosecutor read out the facts of the case, according to police statements.
The prosecution told the court that Ernest Kipkurui, who is the owner of the ram, had lent the animal to his friend for breeding purposes.
But when the friend woke up the following day, he discovered that the ram was missing from the pen. He raised the alarm and one of his neighbours said that Kibungei had been spotted leading away a similar sheep.
The matter was reported at the Soy Police Station where officers launched an investigation.
“The accused is said to have been found with the ram at Kuinet market at around 7pm. He wanted to sell it,” said the prosecution.
In mitigation, Kibungei urged the court to forgive him. He noted that the ram had been recovered and returned to its owner.
"Your honour, I am very sorry for the offence I committed. I pray that this court pardons me and I vow not to repeat it. I am the only bread winner in my family that depends entirely on me,” he said.
But the magistrate said the court had witnessed an increase in the number of cases of livestock theft.
“We appreciate that the accused is a first-time offender. However, he was found with the ram which he was ready to sell and that cannot be pardoned."
Kibungei was given 14 days to appeal the ruling.
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