Nandi woman who strangled husband handed 14-year jail term

The Kapsabet Law Courts in Nandi County. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

The High Court in Kapsabet has sentenced a woman to 14 years in prison for strangling her husband.

Maureen Chebet caused the death of Elias Yego through strangulation at their home in Kapsabet, Nandi County on February 17, 2018.

In February 2020, Chebet entered a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution which saw the murder charge she was facing reduced to manslaughter.

Justice Reuben Nyakundi, while delivering the judgment, stated that although the accused had pleaded for a lenient sentence stating her four children depend on her, the offence of manslaughter attracts a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment.

“This court finds that the accused person must be made to take full responsibility for her actions. The accused person must learn how to tame her emotions to avoid inflicting harm on others,” said Justice Nyakundi.

Justice Nyakundi said he would have sentenced Chebet to serve 15 years imprisonment but noted that the court considered the time the accused had already spent in remand since her arrest in 2018.

“In my judgment, because of the provisions of Section 333(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code, I will in that context give credit for the period of three years and ten months spent in pre-trial custody. It cannot be overemphasized that the accused person is entitled to be accorded a benefit of the least severe sentence prescribed by law by virtue of the provisions,” read part of the judgment.

It added: “It is however beyond dispute that the offence in question denotes aggravating factors which outweigh any mitigation or personal circumstances of the accused person. For these reasons, I sentence the accused to 14 years imprisonment. It is so ordered.”

The court heard that Chebet and Yego were cohabiting and often engaged in heated arguments that would attract the attention of their neighbours.

The court heard that the couple had on that fateful night argued and assaulted each other, leading to the death of the deceased.