Now Kenya rancher files appeal

May 29, 2009 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya May 29 – Jailed Naivasha rancher Tom Cholmondeley has filed a notice of appeal to challenge his manslaughter conviction over the death of stonemason Robert Njoya.

In a notice filed in the High Court registry on May 18, Mr Cholmondeley is challenging the verdict by the High Court judge Muga Apondi who found him guilty of killing Njoya.

The farmer is currently serving an eight-month jail term at Kamiti Maximum Prison.

The Attorney General had also indicated that he will seek the enhancement of the sentence but it is not clear whether that position has since changed.

Lawyer Fred Ojimbo confirmed that they have filed the notice.

“Yes, indeed we filed a notice of appeal against the conviction,” he said in a telephone interview.

The notice as filed in court reads: “Take notice that that the accused person, Thomas G. Cholmondeley appeals to the Court of Appeal against the decision of Justice Muga Apondi where the appellant was found guilty and convicted of the offence of manslaughter.”

While handing him the ‘light sentence’ Justice Apondi had said the sentence was meant to give Mr Cholmondeley time to reflect on his life.

“He had no malice aforethought in killing the accused, he bore him no grudge and the shooting was not pre-mediated," Justice Apondi. "I will enforce a light sentence to give the accused person some time to reflect upon his life. The upshot of this is I hereby sentence him to eight months in prison."

After the sentence the Director of Public Prosecution had told reporters that the sentence was too lenient for an offence that carries a maximum of life sentence.

“We want to consult and very likely seek for enhancement of the sentence. We are not allowed to appeal directly against the conviction but we can seek for correction of the sentence. This we will do as early as next week,” he had said after the court verdict.

“Although the judge was entitled to take into account the period the accused has been in remand, that still notwithstanding, the sentence still falls far below the just and fair sentence in this circumstances.”

Across section of Kenyans had rejected the sentence terming it lenient and slap on the wrist.


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