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Man jailed for defiling minor freed because girl lied about her age

A man serving 15 years in prison for defiling a 17-year-old girl has been freed after the court ruled that the minor had deceived him into believing she was an adult.

Kerugoya High Court Judge Lucy Gitari, while releasing Isaac Nyamu Wanjiru who had appealed the sentence and conviction, also found that there was a dispute on the girl’s actual age.

Explaining her decision, the judge faulted the lower court for overlooking Mr Nyamu’s defence.

“The defence of the appellant was that he had planned with the complainant that they would get married. The complainant informed her that she had attained the age of marriage and she is the one who moved into his house and they lived together as husband and wife until the mother alleged she is a schoolgirl and he took her to the chief’s office,” said Justice Gitari.


“It is therefore clear that the appellant had raised a defence that the complainant had alleged that she was an adult. The Sexual Offences Act avails a defence to an accused person where the complainant deceived him into believing she is an adult,” added the judge.

Mr Nyamu was jailed by a Wang’uru magistrate court for defiling the minor between February 6 and 17, 2016 at Mwea in Kirinyaga county.

The case investigating officer Corporal Ibrahim Mohamed stated that the complainant was a longtime friend of the appellant since the year 2012.

He added that the complaint’s mother was opposed to the love affair.

He said their friendship was confirmed by photographs recovered from the mobile phone of Mr Nyamu and which were taken in the year 2015.

On the issue of age, the judge said there was dispute on whether the girl was 17 or 20, since there were two conflicting copies of birth certificates.

The judge noted that one copy was issued by the registrar of births after the offence was committed. The copy was handed over to the case investigator by the complainant’s mother right there in court as he was giving evidence.


The prosecution failed to discharge the burden to proof the age of the complainant.

“The evidence surrounding the age of the complainant was riddled with doubts and contradictions. The complainant herself had claimed to be an adult. I find that doubts on the age of the complainant must be given to the appellant,” stated the judge.

She further explained that in sexual offences, the age of the complainant is a crucial ingredient which must be proved beyond any reasonable doubts.

This is because sentence under the Sexual Offences Act is considered based on the age of the minor.