A man will serve 20 years in jail for raping an 84-year-old woman, a court has ruled.

Principal Magistrate Bernard Mararu, while sentencing John Muiru on Tuesday, said a deterrent sentence was appropriate considering the complainant’s age.

Mr Mararu said the offence against the old helpless woman (RM) was serious and a non-custodial sentence would not suffice.

Mararo said the prosecution had proven its case.

“All the evidence by the seven prosecution witnesses were consistent and corroborated each other. It was overwhelming,” he ruled.

Muiru was accused of raping RM on August 13, 2018 at Kinari in Dundori Location, Nakuru County.

He faced an alternative charge of committing an indecent act on the victim.

He denied the charges and prosecution lined up seven witnesses to prove that the accused was guilty of the offence.

Attacked in shamba

RM testified that she was in her shamba harvesting potatoes when someone attacked her from behind.

She said the attacker covered her face and put a dirty cloth in her mouth to muzzle her screams, adding that in the process, she lost two teeth.

Although she was covered, she was able to identify the accused after he released her.

“When I removed the cloth covering my face, I saw the accused running. He had short hair, a yellow T-shirt and was small in body size. I screamed for help,” she testified.

Her screams, she said, alerted neighbours and pupils, who went after the accused, surrounded him and as the mob tried to lynch him, the victim intervened.

In cross-examination, she said she was shocked at the actions of the accused, whose is younger than her grandson.

A Class Eight pupil at Kinari Primary School testified that he saw the accused running from the scene and jumped over the fence.

He said that he saw the complainant bleeding from the mouth. “We ran after the accused and we found him in the market and surrounded him there,” he said.

The complainant’s son, a teacher, told the court that he was informed that his mother had been raped and that the culprit had vanished.

Zachary Kinaya, the investigating officer, said the accused was arrested by the public and school children and escorted to a police station. He said that the accused also admitted that the dirty cloth stained with the complainant’s blood was his.

“The children were so many and each gave the same account. After interrogation, I decided to charge the accused with rape,” Mr Kinaya testified.

Medical records

Medical records in court showed that the victim lost two teeth, her mouth was swollen, had bleeding wounds and a bruise on her left leg.

Prosecutor Serling Joyce said the accused had no previous criminal record.

“The accused is a first offender. No previous criminal records have been preferred against him,” said Ms Serling.

The accused, in mitigation, said he was young and his parents were suffering as they depended on him.

He urged the court to be lenient to him since he was remorseful and had reformed. “I have considered the mitigation and input by Ms Serling that the accused is a first offender. However, the offence is very serious,” he said.

“The accused is hereby sentenced to 20 years imprisonment. He has 14 days to appeal,” ruled Mr Mararo.

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