22 September 2017

Kenya: Owner of Dogs Which Killed Gachagua Grandson Charged

The owner and handler of six dogs that mauled to death a two-year-old grandson of former Nyeri governor Nderitu Gachagua have been charged with negligence in a Nyeri court.

Anthony Gathara and his employee, John Njuguna Muriithi, were charged with recklessness and negligence in handling of the pets on September 21, 2017 in Ring Road Estate, Nyeri Town.

The charge sheet indicated that the two failed to take action by keeping the carnivores in an enclosed place as required by law, resulting to the death of Wilson Ngatia Karungaru.

However, the two denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Wendy Kagendo and asked to be released on bond.

BOND TERMS

Through lawyer Njuguna Kimani, they told the court that they will honour the terms of their release and that they will attend all proceedings without fail since they are local residents.

The lawyer also urged the court to order the prosecution serve him with copies of the charge sheet and witness statements before hearing of the case which is scheduled to kick off on September 28, 2017.

The court released the two on a Sh200,000 bond each or a cash bail of Sh100,000.

Prosecutor Wesley Nyamache did not oppose their release, adding that investigations in the case are ongoing.

He said police are yet to get the post-mortem report which is part of the evidence.

Police said that once investigations are concluded, they will prefer further charges of manslaughter against the two.

POST-MORTEM

Post-mortem on the body of the boy was conducted at the Outspan Hospital, a process which the Nyeri Central OCPD Muinde Kioko said would be key in the ongoing investigations.

The dogs, according to the Nyeri OCPD, have been placed in the custody of a government veterinary officer for monitoring.

According to the police boss, this is meant to observe their behaviour which will help determine how the canines will be treated.

If the veterinary officer finds that the dogs have a consistent violent behaviour, they will be killed.

Reports earlier suggested that the dogs could have turned violent as they were on heat, it being a mating season.

"We have to monitor and observe the dogs and that is being done with the help of a vet. If we find that they are constantly violent they will be put down," said Mr Kioko.

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