Woman detained for eight hours after her phone rang in court

A middle aged woman was on Monday detained in the cells within Murang’a law courts and ordered to pay a Sh. 500 fine after her cell phone rang during court proceedings twice.

Ms Julia Wanja who was a witness in a land case facing her brother, was unable to set her phone on silent mode after she was given a warning by Principal Magistrate Walter Onchuru when it rang for the first time.

The magistrate appeared disturbed by the cell phone which was set at high volume as he was keenly listening to details from the case complainant.

At first, Wanja struggled to switch off her smartphone as proceedings were brought to halt and walked out to answer the call.

Proceedings continued before she later came back into the courtroom.

When she settled, ready to listen the case ruling her phone rang for the second time and without hesitating the court security officer took her up from the sitting bench and forwarded her before the magistrate.

The Magistrate ordered the security officer to detain her in the court cell for eight hours and to ensure she pays a fine of Sh. 500.

A light moment ensued in the courtroom when the woman tried to mitigate pleading for mercy claiming that it was her first time to use a smartphone and she is illiterate.

Your honor please forgive me, I got this phone as a gift from my relative and am not conversant with its operation, pleaded Wanja.

The magistrate said that courtroom instructions are very clear that every participant should switch off phone as necessary discipline must be embraced to avoid causing disturbance during court proceedings.

Source: Kenya News Agency