A man jailed for life for defiling his neighbour’s three children got a reprieve after the High Court substituted his sentence with 25 years imprisonment.
Alfred Kibiwott was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment after the court found him guilty of defiling three minors in Kabarnet in 2018.
The minors were between ages of four and seven.
Kibiwott appealed against his conviction and life imprisonment.
On July 1, Justice J Bw’onwong’a found that the appellant was a first offender. He was an orphan and was taking care of his younger brothers who are now out of school for lack of school fees following his arrest for the offences.
On the other hand, the court found that Kibiwott inflicted pain and emotional stress upon his victims who were aged below seven.
“In the premises, I find that the sentence of life imprisonment was manifestly excessive in the circumstances of the case. I therefore reduce it to one of imprisonment for 25 years to run from the date of this judgment,” the judge ruled.
The father of the complainants testified that he was informed that his daughters and that of his neighbour had been defiled.
He then took them to Salawa health centre, from where they were referred to Kabarnet hospital. They told him that Kibiwott had taken them to the shamba to give them oranges. It was in that shamba that he undressed them and raped them.
The prosecution called Monicah Kibet, who testified that she was called by Noel, the mother of the third minor. She passed where the victims were and they told her that Kibiwott, whom they called Kinorio, had told them to follow him to his shamba, where he defiled them.
The appellant then gave them fruits and allowed them to go their way.
Noel testified that she went to where the victims said they were defiled and saw the scene. She then checked the victims and saw their private parts were swollen.
She told court that there was no grudge between her family and that of the appellant.
Benjamin Kendagor, a clinical officer, examined the three children. He found there was penetration of their private parts.
In his defence, Kibiwott told court that he arrived at his shamba and saw fruit trees shaking. He thought that there were monkeys on those trees. When he went close he saw thieves on the trees. Upon seeing him, the thieves climbed down and some ran away. He beat those he caught. He then collected the oranges and mangoes the thieves had plucked.
The next day in the morning he went to Kipsoit centre to watch the news. While there a boy who works there called him out of the hotel. He went out and met the chief of Kipyemit.
The appellant then accompanied the chief to his office. There he met the chief of Lelmon location who handcuffed him. He asked why he was handcuffing him and the chief told him he would to know later. They called police who took him to the station and charged him with these offences to which he pleaded not guilty.