Ugandan teenager jailed six years for killing her son

An 18-year-old Ugandan national who confessed to killing her six-year-old son will serve six years in jail. 

Justice Reuben Nyakundi of the High Court in Eldoret, sentenced Barbra Mutenyo to six years. imprisonment after she entered a plea bargain and faced a lesser charge of manslaughter.  

The judge however denied to hand the accused a non-custodial sentence saying that the life of an innocent child had been lost under the care of a parent who was mandated to offer protection and safety. 

While confessing to the manslaughter charges, Mutenyo told the court that she committed the heinous act to free herself from the burden of taking care of her child. She said she gave birth at a tender age and had been struggling.

She narrated to the court how she strangled her son and wrapped his body in a gunny bag before dumping it in a well in broad daylight. 

“I was unable to take care of the child on my own. I felt as if no one else wanted to help me. I feel sorry for what happened,” she told the court.

The accused who was living in Uasin Gishu county at the time of the incident claimed that she was facing severe depression, stress, abandonment and fear.

The court heard that after committing the heinous act, she went into hiding for three days to evade arrest by the police who had been alerted about the incident by locals.

Mutenyo later surrendered to a police station where she confessed to having been involved in the disappearance and killing of her son.

She admitted to the facts of the case read out by the prosecution counsel Mark Mugun.

According to the court papers, she is charged with killing her son Junior Nesero Butsetse on October 28, 2023, in Kabongo, Kapseret sub-county, Uasin Gishu county.

During mitigation, her advocate Robert Makori asked the court to give his client a non-custodial sentence to enable her to get medical treatment for the trauma she went through after the horrific incident.

The lawyer told court that Mutenyo requires rehabilitation, psycho-social support, mandatory counseling, and critical re-integration to be able to manage herself and her other child considering the circumstances that drove her to commit the said offense.

“What my client requires is rehabilitation, medical psychotherapy to recover from the trauma of the circumstances and not punishment,” Makori said.