Court frees man jailed for 20 years for defiling minor
A 22-year-old man who had been sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment by a magistrate’s court after he was found guilty of defiling a 15-year-old schoolgirl has been set free.
Narok high court Judge Justice Justus Bwonwonga released Charles Makori saying the case was tried in an unfair manner since the primary witnesses did not appear in court for cross-examination.
Makori, who had already served three years, had been sentenced on August 20, 2017 by Senior Resident Magistrate Hosea Ng’ang’a who had found him guilty of defiling the girl on diverse dates between March 3 and 21, 2017.
An investigation officer, who had been ordered by the court to ask of the whereabouts of the two witnesses, told the court that the minor and the father refused to appear in court for cross-examination as they opted to settle the case out of court.
Attempts to look for the two were futile
The investigating officer said his several attempts to look for the two were futile as they were informed they had relocated to another area and were not willing to give testimony in court.
In his earlier judgment, Mr. Ng’ang’a had said the prosecution had proved their case beyond reasonable doubt. He said the facts of the case were well-corroborated and did not leave any loose ends in the case.
“The girl was found in the accused’s house, a clear indication that he is the one who committed the heinous act on the young girl. Her evidence was also corroborated by other witnesses,” the magistrate had said.
In his defence, Makori had denied the charges claiming that he had been framed by the girl’s father who had a grudge against him.
He said he thought the girl was 19 years old as she looked like an adult and invited her to his house, promising to marry her.
However, the magistrate said the prosecution evidence was clear as the accused had not bothered to check the age of the girl nor did he prove his allegations of bad blood with the father of the girl to the court.
Nevertheless, Mr. Makori can now breathe a sigh of relief after the high court ruled that his trial was unfairly conducted.
“The upshot of the foregoing is that the appellant is hereby ordered set free unless on other lawful warrants,” said Justice Bwonwonga.
When interviewed by the press, Mr. Makori praised God for his freedom and promised to continue working hard in a bid to support his parents who were largely depending on him.