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A 25-year-old man who defiled his eight-year-old niece has been sentenced to life in prison after the Court of Appeal dismissed his plea for mercy.

Appellate judges William Ouko, Asike Makhandia and Jamila Mohammed on Friday ruled that defilement, especially against a person’s own relative, is uncouth and that claims by the man that he was also underage at the time of committing the crime cannot save him from the punishment.

“Sexual relations between an adult and a child is perverted and wrong. And if the child is a family member, the psychological consequences are even more damaging. There are some lines that should never be crossed,” ruled the judges.

According to the judges, incest sparks strong emotions in many cultures and communities around the world and is largely regarded as a taboo; frowned upon, completely reprehensible, unacceptable, disgusting and criminal.

The man identified as JMM was charged with defiling his niece who was at the time aged eight on June 27, 2012 after luring her to a thicket and lying to her that he would help her fetch firewood.

The Appellate Judges dismissed the appellant’s claims that the girl’s testimony was incredible, ruling that she was courageous and truthfully narrated the incident without fear.

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