A Maralal court has handed a Form Four student seven years in jail for kidnapping his cousin and demanding a Sh170,000 ransom.
The accused was also sentenced to one year for stealing a national identity card. He pleaded guilty to kidnapping the three-year-old boy from Chang'aa estate in Maralal town at around 9am on August 23, and to stealing the ID.
He had given the boy's mother up to August 29 to raise the ransom or the child would be subjected to unspecified harm.
The court heard that the victim's mother sent Sh2,500 in three different M-Pesa transactions (Sh500, Sh1,000 and Sh1,000) to the kidnapper through mobile phone number 0705632548. The phone is registered to a Daniel Kagure Mungai.
The accused had assured the woman that her son was safe as long as she sent the money. He demanded another Sh4,000 for the boy's upkeep even though his mother was struggling to raise the ransom.
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"The kidnapper called and told the complainant that she had to send the money before the deadline or she would have herself to blame for what would happen to her son," said the prosecutor.
With the help of Safaricom, detectives traced the number to the kidnapper in a house in Nanyuki town where they rescued the boy and arrested the suspect. Two ID cards, a mobile phone and two Safaricom SIM cards police recovered from the house were presented in court as exhibits.
One of the IDs bearing the name of a Daniel Kagure Mungai was stolen and used to register one of the SIM cards. The other ID had the name of the accused's deceased mother.
The accused asked the court to forgive him, arguing that he did not injure the boy and because he was an orphan. He wanted the court to free him so he could sit his Kenya Certificate Secondary Education examinations.
When Maralal Resident Magistrate Abraham Gachie asked why he kidnapped his cousin, he claimed he was just joking.
The magistrate gave the accused 14 days to appeal the sentence. The sentences will run concurrently.