Mobile phone thief gets 4 years in jail

January 9, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 9 – A Maua magistrate court has sentenced a 21-year-old man to four years in jail for stealing 57 mobile phone sets and 18 cell phone batteries amongst other goods valued at over Sh250,000.

Zacharia Nyaga, who appeared before Senior Resident Magistrate Peter Macharia, pleaded guilty to the charges and expressed his remorse in court saying he would not repeat the offence.

The court heard that the accused together with others who are still at large committed the offence on the night of December 27 last year.

He was charged with breaking into a shop at Kiutine Market in Igembe North District and stealing the goods.

Mr Nyaga also faced an alternative charge of handling stolen goods after he was arrested with three of the stolen mobile phones, two days after the break-in.

The accused was granted the requisite two week period within which to appeal against the sentence.

Meanwhile, five suspects charged with possessing different calibres of live ammunition in Narok Township, whose bail was cancelled by the High Court last month are seeking to be freed from custody.

Chief armourer at the Administration Police Joseph Martim, businessman Muneer Haroon Ismail and his wife Nahid Tabasum Sumar made the application on Friday morning after Lady Justice Roselyn Wendoh ordered that they be rearrested and detained for 14 days.

Defence lawyers Pravin Bowry, Cliff Ombetta, Nevil Amolo, Francis Njanja and Ian Maina urged Nairobi Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei to free them since the order issued on December 23 last year by Justice Wendoh had lapsed and their cash bail was still in the court’s custody.

The couple face three additional counts for keeping stolen military wares including spades, solar batteries, tyres, containers, cookers and canvas chairs in Nairobi and Narok. Two other suspects John Wandeto Kiragu and Dominic Ambisai Mufumu are separately accused with possessing allegedly stolen military hardware.

Mr Maritim and the couple had been granted a cash bail of Sh1 million while Mr Wandeto and Mr Mufumu were granted a cash bail of Sh200,000.

The magistrate court had allowed two applications by the State to hold the suspects in custody pending further investigations. Mr Mutembei however rejected the third application saying the State had been given enough time to complete investigations.

Senior Principal State Counsel Vincent Wohoro then lodged an urgent application at the High Court arguing that the release was founded on wrong principles of law.

The advocates said the High Court order had been issued in contravention of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC), arguing that no order should be made to the prejudice of the accused persons unless given an opportunity to be heard. They contended that the order cancelling the bail was adverse to them.

Mr Wohoro said he had instruction from the Attorney General Amos Wako to oppose their release on bail, and urged the suspects to go to the High Court if they felt aggrieved. Their cash bail, he stated, had been suspended and could only be vacated by the High Court. He said the charge before the court touched on matters of national security, public order and tranquillity.

Mr Mutembei will deliver ruling on the matter on Tuesday.


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