Baby thief jailed for three years
By MAUREEN ODIWUOR
| February 19th 2014
Kisumu, Kenya: The magistrate’s court has slapped a three year jail sentence on a woman who stole a baby from Kisumu County’s Kombewa District Hospital.
Damaris Achieng jointly with others not before court, were charged with fraudulently with intent to deprive Evelyn Akinyi and Luke Odenyo their child.
She pleaded guilty to the offence and was also declared by the Probation Department a ‘habitual’ baby thief after it emerged that the four year old boy in her custody was not her biological son.
Based on the report and her being guilty plea, Senior Principal Magistrate Angelo Kithinji ordered that she serves the jail term, adding that she has 14 days to appeal against the ruling.
The family members were not ready to receive her back home since she had spoiled their name, she could not be given a non-custodial sentence despite being remorseful because the community planned to lynch her if she returns.
The Probation officer also feared that Achieng would disappear to Nairobi thus absconding probation. Her biological mother on receiving information of Achieng’s arrest went and stole her first child from Sunga village where she was married.
Achieng appeared before the same court last Wednesday and was charged for stealing baby Joseph Onyango on January 21at about 4pm when the mother had gone to take a shower at Kombewa District Hospital in Seme Sub-County.
The circumstances of the offence revealed that she had travelled from Nairobi where she used to live with her husband to visit family members in August last year.
She claimed to have been six months pregnant then and started attending Ante-natal clinic at Sunga Dispensary and was due last month.
On January 20 Achieng said she experienced labour pains and went to Port Florence Hospital while accompanied by her sister in law who left her there.
While at the hospital, she decided to go to Kombewa for fear that being a private hospital, the facility would be more expensive.
"Before reaching there, I got complications which led to a miscarriage but I could not go back home without a baby," she told the court.
She talked to one of the nurses who promised to steal for her a baby at a price of Sh20, 000 and was allowed to sit at the maternity ward awaiting the deal to be sealed.
She then met Akinyi who had given birth and bonded well with her, when Akinyi went to shower, the nurse stole the baby and gave to me ordering that I take off immediately.
Due to the hurry, she forgot her bag which had documents with information that led to her being traced and arrested.
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