Appeal court upholds death sentence against two

The High Court sentenced Harrison Kariuki Mwangi and Kennedy Otieno Juma to death. [iStockphoto]

Two convicts sentenced to death for robbing six, among them an Australian social worker, of property worth Sh1.3 million in 2006 have lost a second appeal.

Court of Appeal Judges Kathurima M’inoti, Sankale Ole Kantai and Imaana Laibuta, in a judgment delivered last week, said they did not find anything to interfere with the findings of the trial court and High Court in sentencing Harrison Kariuki Mwangi and Kennedy Otieno Juma to death.

The court heard that Mwangi and Juma – jointly with others robbed Valerie Ann Leakey, Charlotte Campbell Stephens, John Clifford Adam, Susan Patricia Perrow Adam, Lessa Adeline Dane, and Peter John Dane, of an assortment of personal effects, all valued at Sh1.3m, on March 31, 2006, at Masai Lodge area in Kajiado County.

After hearing the prosecution and the defence, the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Kibera delivered his judgment on December 2, 2013, convicted the two of robbery with violence, and sentenced them to death.

Aggrieved by the conviction and sentence, the two appealed to the High Court of Kenya at Nairobi. In its judgment delivered on August 2016, the High Court dismissed the appeal and upheld the conviction and sentence meted by the trial court.
Aggrieved further, they lodged another appeal at the Court of Appeal in January 2020. They said the charges were not proved beyond a reasonable doubt. They urged the Court of Appeal to quash the judgment of Justice G. W. Ngenye-Macharia dated August 17, 2016.

Judges M’inoti, Kantai, and Laibuta, in their judgment, said they found nothing in the proceedings before the trial court and the High Court to suggest that the concurrent findings of fact in the two courts were based on either no evidence or on a misapprehension of evidence.

“Neither do we find anything to lead to the conclusion that the trial court and the High Court acted on wrong principles in making the findings on evidence leading to the appellant's conviction and sentence, and the subsequent decision to dismiss their first appeal,” read the judgment in part.

“Having found nothing on record to warrant our interference with the lower courts’ concurrent findings of fact and holding on matters of law, we find that the appellants’ appeal herein on both conviction and sentence fails and, accordingly, the same is hereby dismissed in its entirety.”