9 February 2018

Kenya: Convicted Girl Kidnappers Seek to Be Set Free By Court

A convicted capital offender and three women jailed for seven years for kidnapping a six-year-old girl from a city church are battling to have a court set them free.

Raphael Nderitu, Monica Wangui, Anne Wambui and Anne Nyambura on Thursday pleaded with Mr Justice Luka Kimaru to consider freeing them as they have already served five years and seven months.

"We are parents and we really desire to be reunited with our children whom we need to look after," the three women said in mitigation.

Nderitu, who the trial court was told was the mastermind of the kidnap and theft of the girl from Mavuno Church in Nairobi County on September 30, 2012, impressed upon the judge to commute the prison term saying they have almost completed their seven-year jail terms.

But the prosecution opposed the plea by the four convicts on the grounds that since they ascertain they are parents as they know the pain, trauma, anguish and emotional pain they subjected the parents of the girl they kidnapped from church attending Sunday School.

"The offence is very serious and calls for a deterrent sentence. Reject their request then order they complete the remaining prison term," the prosecutor implored the judge.

REFORMED

In her plea Nyambura said she is a mother of a 13-year-old girl who she left under the care of her aged mother.

"As I stand before you, Your Lordship, I am a reformed person. I have been counseled and am now ready to go back to the society and participate in nation building then bring up my 13-year-old daughter," she pleaded.

On her part, Wambui disclosed she is a mother of two and would like to join her family after staying away from them for five years and seven months.

"I am fully restored and am really remorseful. I repent before God and this court and vow never to engage in crime again," the tearful Wambui pleaded.

The third woman, Wangui, likewise pleaded to have her jail term commuted to re-unite with her children and relatives.

She regretted her participation in the crime and asked the judge to show mercy on her and exercise his discretion in her favour.

The four were convicted by then Milimani Law Courts chief magistrate Ms Hannah Ndung'u and sentenced them to serve seven years for stealing money from the parents of the victim and five years for kidnapping the girl.

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