Husband set wife on fire

A Nanyuki High Court on Thursday directed the probation office to prepare a pre-sentence report to assist in sentencing a man who burnt his wife to death.

The court also directed Laikipia East Children’s office to prepare a report on the welfare of the accused person’s son Melvin Wachira.

The court needs to be informed on the possible effects of the death of the deceased had on her son Wachira before sentencing him, said Justice Mary Kasango, Nanyuki High Court Judge.

Justice Kasango found Mathenge guilty of killing Mary Wanjiku Kanyi on December 11, 2015 at Likii village, Laikipia County.

According to Prosecuting State Counsel, Lukas Tanui, the accused had previously threatened to kill the deceased but she had taken the threat lightly because it was normal for him to come home drunk and beat her but all would be normal in the morning.

However, on the material day, Mathenge arrived home drunk, started insulting his wife while demanding for food and when he was served, he refused to eat and went to bed. After two hours, he woke up and went to the table room where he lit a paraffin cooking stove.

When the deceased came to the table room, he threw the burning stove at her resulting in 63% burning.

Neighbours were alerted by the cry of the couple’s son and the deceased was rescued and taken to Nanyuki Teaching and Referral hospital where she died after one month in hospital.

The accused was arrested and charged with the offence before being arraigned in court where he denied the allegations.

In his defense, Mathenge had told Justice Kasango that the deceased had set herself on fire and he had tried to rescue her by pouring water on her.

However, his son Wachira, 3 years by then, had explicitly told the court how his father threw the burning stove at his mother who went to heaven.

Justice Kasango observed that the prosecution had proven beyond reasonable doubt that the accused murdered his wife.

The matter was set for judgment on February 21, 2018 after receiving the reports.

Source: Kenya News Agency