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Farmer gets 20 years for attempted defilement

A 29-year-old peasant farmer has been jailed for 20 years after he pleaded guilty to attempting to defile a 10-year-old girl in Kesses Sub County.

Eldoret Senior Resident Magistrate Christine Menya on Wednesday said the accused was sentenced after his own plea of guilty even after the court warned him over the consequences of being guilty of such an offence.

Julius Kiprotich Barno had been accused of attempting to defile the minor at Kagongo village in Tarakwa location, Kesses Sub County within Uasin Gishu County on July 21, 2020.

The accused, who first appeared in court on July 27, confidently pleaded guilty to the charge, prompting the court to give him a mention date after warning him of the consequences of confessing to such a crime.

“This court is warning you that the offence you have confessed has a stiff penalty. The case will be mentioned on July 29 for the prosecution to read to you the facts before sentencing,” the Magistrate said during his first appearance in court.

The court heard that the accused attempted to defile the girl in a nearby maize plantation after she was sent by her mother to fetch grass for the family calf in the company of her seven-year-old cousin.

According to the minor’s mother, on the material day in the afternoon, she followed the two when they delayed returning home, only to find the accused about to defile her daughter.

“I noticed something was wrong when they took long before coming back as usual. That is when I went to look for them in the shamba only to find the accused who was my neighbour already undressing after he had undressed my daughter. I screamed and neighbours who came and arrested the accused who was handed over to a local chief and eventually to a police station,” she said through her statement read by the prosecution.

In his mitigation, Barno told the court he was remorseful of what he did and asked the court to forgive him.

“I kindly request (for) this court to forgive me for what I did. I promise never to repeat it,” Barno told the court.

The prosecution told the court that the accused was also serving a non-custodial sentence of six months after he was also found guilty of causing disturbance and property in another case.

“I have considered your mitigation and previous criminal record, this court hereby sentences you to serve a jail term of 20 years in prison,” ruled the magistrate.