Judge reduces robber's life sentence to 20 years

A robber who had been jailed for life will now serve 20 years after the High Court in Kakamega reduced the sentence following a successful appeal.

Justice William Musyoka said the subordinate court passed a harsh sentence against Charles Odhiambo based on a defective charge sheet.

The judge also pointed out that the mandatory death sentence provided for robbery with violence is unconstitutional.

"I accordingly disallow the sentence and affirm the conviction. I shall set aside the sentence imposed on the appellant for that reason," he said.

Justice Musyoka added: "I hereby substitute the death sentence with imprisonment for 20 years. The time spent in remand custody shall be reckoned."

Odhiambo was convicted of robbery with violence after a court found him guilty of the offence in 2021 before handing him the sentence.

Aggrieved by the decision, he appealed the sentence before the High Court.

Odhiambo argued that the sentence was unnecessarily harsh and that his trial process was unjust as he was tried on a defective charge. He said he was also not subjected to an identification parade.

It was documented that on February 19, 2019, at Ebwambwa in Kakamega County, Odhiambo jointly, with others not before the court while armed with crude weapons, robbed Everlyne Lusanji of an assortment of items all valued at Sh64,500. They used actual violence against her, according to court documents.

Ms Lusanji, who testified in 2021, said Odhiambo and a group of men broke into her bar-cum-residence and attacked her and her husband.