Deya’s wife opts to complete prison term over baby theft
The wife of UK based preacher Gilbert Deya has withdrawn an appeal she lodged against a conviction she was handed four years ago for stealing a child.
She has instead opted to complete her jail term at the Lang’ata women’s prison in Nairobi. She will be completing her term in three months.
Ms Mary Juma Gilbert Deya of the miracle babies infamy, through her lawyer John Swaka, said that “upon contemplation and on second thought” she had chosen to drop her appeal.
The appeal had come for a hearing before three judges at the Court of Appeal on Wednesday.
Prosecutor Moses O’mirera did not object to Ms Deya withdrawal.
She withdrew at the eleventh hour after the judges warned that the three year sentence she had been handed at the lower court may be enhanced or quashed depending on the outcome of the trial.
Ms Deya lost the first appeal in 2014 at the High Court before Justice Mbogholi Msagha after she challenged former magistrate Grace Nzioka’s judgment which saw her imprisoned for three years for stealing a child and giving false information.
The judge committed her to serve the sentence after upholding the magistrate’s conviction and at the same time vacated her bail pending appeal terms of Sh 200,000 which she had posted as the appeal case awaited determination.
Ms Deya then moved to the court of appeal where her case was alerted before a three judge bench led by Justice GBM Kariuki.
The wife of the UK based controversial preacher had been charged with the offence of stealing a child on September 10, 2005 at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
She was also accused of giving false information to a Dr James Kiarie at KNH that she had given birth to the child in question.
During her, trial medical doctors, who included a gynecologist who examined her prior to her arrest, testified that she had reached menopause and “was well past child bearing age,” thus quashing her allegations of a miraculous childbirth.
The then trial magistrate jailed her for three years but Ms Deya, aggrieved by the conviction, lodged an appeal at the High Court on grounds that there had been no complainant against the charge of stealing and that the evidence the prosecution presented and which the magistrate relied on was not strong enough to warrant a conviction.
Ms Nzioka had ruled that the medical evidence presented in court showed Ms Deya was not the biological parent of the child.
A witness who testified during the initial trial had told the court that she saw Ms Deya pick “a soiled pad” from one of the dustbins at the hospital which she inserted into her underpants when police and medics mounted a search within at the facility’s maternity wing.