Court slashes award to student shot in the eye by warder

Quinter Amondi (centre) with parents, Saline and Fredrick Ojwando. [File, Standard]

A woman who was hit in the eye by a stray bullet said to have been fired by a prison warder in Migori County in 2016 will now be paid Sh6.1 million as compensation and not the Sh14 million that had been awarded to her by a magistrate's court.

Justice Roselyn Wendoh of the High Court in Migori made the determination following an appeal by the Attorney General after a magistrate's court made the award to Quinter Amondi, who lost her eye following the incident.

The appeal was lodged by the AG on behalf of Simon Ndunda, the warder accused of firing a live bullet that hit the student.

At the time of the incident, Ms Amondi was a student at Ulanda Girls Secondary in Migori.

Ndunda is said to have been pursuing an inmate who had escaped from Migori GK Prison when he allegedly fired the bullet that hit Amondi.

Amondi was among the students who were participating in school games at Migori Boys High School.

Justice Wendoh ruled that the amount the magistrate's court awarded to Amondi was too high.

"It is my view that the trial court's award was on the higher side," said Justice Wendoh.

Of the amount the High Court has awarded Amondi, Sh5 million will be general damages.

At the same time, Justice Wendoh said a claim for Sh73,000 as special damages did not correspond with the receipts Amondi produced before the court.

The judge said the receipts produced amounted to Sh60,000 and awarded her as much in special damages.

The medical report estimated that the surgeon's fees to have Amondi wear an eye prosthesis would amount to Sh1.07 million, and the judge awarded the victim the same amount.

Amondi, 22, who is currently a student at Utalii College in Nairobi, had sued the Ministry of Interior, through her father Fredrick Odhiambo Owino, seeking damages following the incident that saw her spend more than four months in hospital.

In the suit, Owino said Ndunda acted negligently and in breach of common duty while chasing the convict.

He wanted Amondi compensated for damages of pain and suffering, loss of future expectations of life, and medical expenses.

A magistrate's court found that the warder had acted negligently and awarded Amondi Sh14 million as general damages and Sh73,000 as special damages.