Duo jailed 15 years for murder

Two men found guilty of murder charges before a Kiambu court have been committed to a 15 years jail term.

John Nganga Gacheru and his co-accused Joseph Kamau Wanyoike who had appeared before a High court judge justice Joel Ngugi were charged with murder contrary to section 203 as read together with section 204 of the penal code.

The duo were charged that on 28 of November 2015 at Gitombo area within Kigumo location in Murang’a County they unlawfully murdered John Ngatha.

In his ruling justice Ngugi said that it appeared from the facts that the accused were under the influence of alcohol or drugs, even though it was not offered as a defence and it would not have risen to the level of diminishing their Criminal culpability.

It is a relevant factor to consider in sentencing since it lowered the degree of blame in the offence committed by the accused, the high court judge said.

He observed in his ruling that both suspects were actively and positively proved, they were not to be remorseful and refused to acknowledge the crime committed.

The prosecution counsel led by Henry Kinyanjui prayed for a death sentence though both accused were first time offenders.

Mr. Kinyanjui told the court that the offence was a well-orchestrated murder adding that there was nothing in the circumstances that would allow the court to be lenient on them.

Ms. Jane Omung’ala who represented the accused had previously informed the court that she had firm instructions from her clients not to mitigate since they each confirmed to the court that they had said all they needed to say during their defence.

A conviction for murder attracted a mandatory death sentence in Kenya until 14 of December 2017 when the Supreme Court in a case of Francis Kiarioko Muruatetu and another vs. the republic in a petition ruled that the mandatory death penalty imposed under section 204 of the penal code was unconstitutional.

In essence the Supreme Court permitted any Court that has convicted the accused for murder to conduct a sentence hearing to determine the appropriate sentence.

Source: Kenya News Agency