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Judicial CP - July 2000
Daily Nation, Nairobi, 7 July 2000
Rapist's jail term reducedBy NATION Correspondent
A man who admitted defiling a girl who died three days later had his charge reduced from manslaughter to defilement on appeal.
Arthur Kamau Chege will now serve 10 years in jail, and receive 10 strokes of the cane. Earlier, he had been sentenced to 14 years' imprisonment.
Kamau had appealed against the sentence for killing the Standard Four pupil.
Nyeri High Court Mr Justice Vitalis Juma said the doctor who conducted a post-mortem examination used technical terms in court which the trial judge did not understand.
Kamau had been found guilty of committing the offence at Kongoini village, Murang'a District, on June 13, 1994.
Justice Juma said evidence before the court showed that Kamau raped the deceased and a friend.
Kamau had ignored the little girl's cries of pain, Justice Juma said.
"The girl went home, and complained of a headache, neck pains and pain in her legs, such that she could not go to Sunday school two days later," he said.
It was after her mother, Ms Lucy Mwai went into the girl's bedroom, that she discovered a foul smell emanating from within, and demanded to be told what had happened, Justice Juma said.
After examining her daughter, Ms Mwai found she had blood and pus on her private parts, which were also swollen.
"The girl, on being questioned by her mother, said she had been raped by Kamau, who had then threatened her with death if she ever revealed his vile act to anyone," Justice Juma said.
Ms Mwai then reported the matter to the nearby police station, and took her daughter to hospital.
Little Wanjiru dropped dead on her way home from hospital, the judge said.
Kamau was later arrested by members of the public and handed over to the police.
"The doctor who conducted a post mortem examination did not appear in person to give his evidence, which was instead read by a police officer. The cause of death was read out to be cardiac arrest and strangulation, but was too technical for anyone to understand," Justice Juma said when determining the case.
He added the accused person was not given a chance to cross-examine the doctor.
Said Justice Juma: "The cause of death is crucial in determining this case. The accused person said he had raped the girl, but added he didn't know anything about her death."
One of the grounds of appeal was that one cannot die of strangulation threes days after the act, the judge said.
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