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Briton with snakes gets 5-years in jail

RIFT VALLEY
By By ANTONY GITONGA | September 25th 2013

By ANTONY GITONGA 

Nakuru County: A Naivasha court has jailed a British national for five-years after he was found in possession of six poisonous snakes.

43-years-old Simon David Harris was left tongue-tied as he was escorted to prison to start his jail term.

Harris who lives in Germany, was jailed on his own plea of guilty by Naivasha Resident Magistrate Seline Muchungi.

The Briton who arrived in the country a week ago had been charged with his Kenyan accomplice Richard Wangwe Adera with three counts, which they pleaded guilty to.

The two had been charged with being in possession of six live Kenya horned viper snakes without a certificate of ownership, failing to make a report of obtaining possession of government trophies and dealing in government trophies.

The court was told that on September 22, 2013 at around 5.30pm in Kongoni area, KWS officers and the Tourism Police Unit (TPU) officers received a tip-off that the duo were in possession of the snakes.

The officers rushed to the Fish Camp hotel at Kongoni where the two were arrested them. The prosecution further said the suspects could not explain why the snakes with a street value of Sh300,000 were in their possession and where they intended to take them.

The two were sentenced to three-years in prison without an option of a fine on the first count and one-year each for the second and third counts respectively.

Harris, who was visibly shaken at the unexpected sentence, pleaded with the magistrate to reconsider her judgment and give him the option of paying a fine. The magistrate said the seriousness of the offense called for stiffer penalties to serve as a deterrent measure.

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