GSU officers get 15 years for killing woman in changaa raid


When Administration Police raided chang'aa dens in Isiolo's Bulapesa area. [File, Standard]

A senior General Service Unit chaplain and his three colleagues have been jailed for 15 years over the gruesome murder of a woman about three years ago.

Inspector of Police Harrison Mwa, police constables John Kimweli, Linus Kipngetich and Joseph Mureithi were ordered by Justice Charles Kariuki to cool their heels behind bars as a lesson to others who use excessive force.

This is after he found them guilty of clobbering Mary Chepkorir Kiprotich to death in March 2020 at her home in Laikipia County.

In their case, the four claimed that they had been tasked to arrest Chepkorir on the basis that she was selling illicit brew.

They claimed that there was no pre-determined plot to kill her.

However, Justice Kariuki wondered how four trained GSU, the area chief and assistant chief would have been overpowered by an expectant woman to warrant such senseless beating.

“If the mission were just to arrest the victim, the 4th GSU offices and chief and assistant chief would not have been overwhelmed by the victim, a female gender. None indicated that the victim ought to have been beaten to facilitate arrest. Thus, the Court finds that the noncustodial sentence is unavailable as the (PCR) reports recommended,” ruled Justice Kariuki. Initially, the Director of Public Prosecution pressed charges against six police officers.

However, the court acquitted three and left Mwa, Kimweli, Kipngetich and Mureithi to answer to the heinous act.

The four opted to remain silent during the case and did not tell their side of the story.

Instead, they decided to poke holes on the evidence produced in court and 15 witnesses who were called to testify. Justice Kariuki observed that the court found that they were to blame for the murder despite them not telling the court what transpired before Chekorir died.

The DPP stated that the victim left orphans who were pleading the court to give the three officers a custodial sentence. In seeking leniency, the officers cited personal health concerns and familial obligations. However, the court ruled out a noncustodial sentence.