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Mother charged after son dies fleeing her beating and hitting cupboard

A 27-year-old woman is facing charges of manslaughter following the tragic death of her six-year-old son.

The incident occurred in her residence in Huruma estate, Starehe Sub County, Nairobi, where the child was fatally injured by a cupboard while attempting to escape from her.

The woman is alleged to have unlawfully caused the minor’s death on July 12, in violation of section 202 as read with section 205 of the Penal Code.

The accused person was punishing the minor when he attempted to run out of the house but accidentally hit the cupboard and sustained an injury on the head.

The suspect thought the child had fainted and called a neighbour to assist in resuscitating him.

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The deceased minor lay in the house for about 30 minutes before he was taken to a nearby hospital while still unconscious but later died at the hospital.

His body was then immediately moved to the City Mortuary, where a post-mortem was conducted on July 17, and the cause of the death was determined to be an injury on the head caused by blunt force trauma.

The suspect has been in custody at Ruaraka police station since July 12, when she was arrested and after the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) obtained orders to detain her pending investigations.

The DCI had recommended murder charges against her but the office of director of public prosecutions reviewed the charges and charged her with manslaughter.

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The ODPP relied on provisions of section 213 of the Penal Code which stipulates circumstances of which one can be considered to have caused the death of another and which would be applicable.

Section 213 (c) states that “if by actual or threatened violence one causes another to perform an act which causes the death of that person, such act being a means of avoiding such violence which in the circumstances would appear natural to the person whose death is so caused”.

The ODPP formed the opinion because the minor fatally hit his head on the cupboard while escaping his mother (the suspect) who was meting violence on him and therefore his death was unlawfully caused by the suspect contrary to section 213 (c) of the Penal Code.

The state prosecutions office further stated that the ingredient of an intention to kill was not established by the DCI investigations and the suspect was charged with killing without intention.

She denied the charges before Principal Magistrate Irene Gichobi of the Makadara Law Courts and was released on a bond of Sh200, 000.

The case will be mentioned on September 4 before hearing starts on October 12 this year.

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