Grandfather gets life imprisonment for raping granddaughter


A grandfather has been sentenced to life imprisonment for sexually abusing his granddaughter aged six.

Joseph Muriithi Macharia’s appeal to have a 10-year imprisonment quashed was dismissed by the High Court and sentenced to life.

“The sentence imposed by the trial Magistrate was clearly wrong. It overlooked a material factor in sentencing, that is, the age of the victim which was crucial in determining the sentence to be imposed. The sentence of ten years imposed on the Appellant was not lawful. The lawful sentence which the Magistrate ought to have imposed is imprisonment for life based on the age of the victim. I will, therefore, interfere with the sentence. I set aside the sentence of ten years. The Appellant is sentenced to imprisonment for life,” ruled Justice Lucy Gitari.

The facts of the case are that on October 3, 2014 at about 12.00 noon the grandfather – Macharia, asked that the minor comes over to his place. The mother of the minor released her daughter and she went to the house of the convict.

The court was told that the child overstayed in the house of grandfather which prompted her mother to go and check if everything was okay.

Upon arrival at the convict’s house, the mother of the complainant found the convict in the act of having sex with the minor. The incident was reported at the Kiangwaci Police Post and minor taken to Katarina Hospital for treatment.

A post rape care form and a P3 form were filled. According to the testimony by clinical officer, John Mwangi, who examined the complainant the hymen was broken but not fresh.

There was a laceration with a small tear on the left Octoral position of the labia minora. There was a laceration wound on the vaginal opening and a white discharge emanating from the said opening. .

The minor had to be put on antibiotics and drugs to prevent HIV/AIDS infection. The birth certificate, which was produced in court, shows that she was born on April 21, 2008.

In his defense, the grandfather, who gave unsworn defense, stated that on the material day he was digging near his house when children went to play near his home. He asked the children who had damaged the sweet potatoes. They started blaming each other. The mother of the children went and started making noise and claimed that no sweet potatoes had been damaged. She told him it were better if he is the one who is dead and his wife alive. He got annoyed and went to report the matter to the Police. When he reached, he found the mother at the Police Station. He was then charged in court.

In support of the ruling, Equality Now Program Officer – Justice for Girls, Naitore Nyamu Mathenge, said the High Court made the right decision.

“Equality Now applauds the ruling by the High Court Judge in the Criminal Appeal No.19 of 2015.  Joseph Murithi Macharia, the grandfather who raped his six year old granddaughter, will now serve the correct sentence as prescribed by the law,” said Ms Naitore.

“The ruling is a testament that we have a powerful legislation in place, that is; The Sexual Offences Act. This legislation should be implemented fully to ensure that victims of Sexual and Gender Based Violence access justice. The sentence will serve as a deterrent to other would be perpetrators of sexual violence.”

“We believe that justice has been served for this young victim of sexual violence,” she concluded.

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