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Five in Mavuno Church child kidnap saga found guilty

COUNTIES
By Isaiah Lucheli | Oct 8th 2014 | 2 min read

Five people accused of kidnapping a child at Mavuno Church, Nairobi, in 2012 have been found guilty and will be sentenced today by a magistrate court.

Chief Magistrate Hellen Ndungu acquitted the sixth accused, Alice Wangui, saying the evidence adduced before court had failed to link her to the incident.

Ms Ndungu added that Raphael Nderitu Maina and Charity Wakonyo Gathigi were the masterminds of the kidnapping. Maina is a prisoner at Kamiti Maximum Prison while Wakonyo has skipped bail and her whereabouts are unknown.

According to the magistrate, the child who had been kidnapped in broad daylight from the church and stayed with her abductors for a week was able to identify them later after being rescued.

The magistrate said she was satisfied that the accused were with their victim. She found them guilty of kidnapping a child under the age of 14 with an intent to steal on September 30, 2012.

The magistrate also found the suspects guilty of demanding Sh5 million from Kelly Muthoni’s parents and stealing Sh20,000 from her mother, Caroline Wangui. They also stole Sh40,000 from Muthoni’s father, Antony Maina.

Ann Wambui Njeri, Purity Muthoni Ranji and Monicah Wanjiru Makumi were arraigned before the court and charged with the kidnapping of the six-year-old girl.

Prosecutor Onesmas Towett had told the court there was a wide racket that deals in the abduction of children and the accused women were members of the gang. He asked the court to remand the suspects in custody as the police were still carrying out investigations.

The girl was kidnapped by two women who had gone to the church and claimed they were taking her to her parents. She was later rescued from a house in Kariobangi by police.

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