Judiciary defends conviction of woman who claims injustice over 10-year jail term

January 30, 2019 7:58 am
“Lydia was taken through the full trial process. The court heard her out while the State called four witnesses including the 13-year-old minor who was the victim”/COURTESY

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 30 – The Judiciary now says the case of Lydia Achieng, the woman who claims she was wrongfully jailed 10 years ago over defilement was conclusively dealt with in accordance with the law.

The Judiciary’s Public Affairs & Communication Deputy Director Catherine Wambui explained that Achieng was taken through a full trial after being charged with committing an indecent act with a child, contrary to Section 11(1) of the Sexual Offences Act.

“Lydia was taken through the full trial process. The court heard her out while the State called four witnesses including the 13-year-old minor who was the victim. It was established that Lydia lured the boy into having sex with her on three different occasions between August and September 2010,” she stated.

Wambui pointed out that after trial, she was convicted accordingly and sentenced to serve 10 years imprisonment.

“The magistrate, D.O. Onyango, observed that: ‘I find that the accused took advantage of prosecution witness 1’s (the young boy) age and mind in order to achieve her selfish motives. She not only touched him inappropriately in a manner which was obviously indecent but went on and had sex with him’.”

She further stated that the Judiciary has a responsibility to apply the law and ensure those adults who sexually prey on minors are duly punished.

“It is noted that before the High Court, Lydia only appealed against the sentence and not the conviction. In that case, the court was only enjoined to determine the propriety of the sentence,” she observed.

Wambui stated that her appeal was not only dismissed, but the judge observed that Achieng was lucky not to get more years in jail as the State did not indicate that it wanted to have the sentence enhanced.

The plight of Achieng, who is currently imprisoned at the Lang’ata Women’s Prison emerged during an interview with Inooro TV prompting the intervention of the DPP.

The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji ordered a review of the case after a video clip emerged with the woman claiming that she was wrongfully jailed over the offence.

Through his Twitter account, the DPP said the decision to re-open the case was made despite the fact that the convict was charged during the era of police prosecutors and before the 2010 Constitution.

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