Appeals Court upholds life imprisonment for man who battered wife to death


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The Court of Appeal has upheld a life imprisonment sentence for a man who was convicted of battering his wife to death.

Appellate judges Fatuma Sichale, Fred Ochieng and Lydia Achode who were sitting in Eldoret dismissed the appeal filed by John Ekai while stating that there was no basis to warrant a reduction of the sentence.

The judges stated in their judgment that Ekai deserved no mercy since the court’s finding was that he intentionally killed his wife without any provocation.

“The trial court while sentencing the appellant considered the circumstances under which the offence was committed. From the circumstances of this case, the deceased was viciously attacked without any provocation, and we hold the considered opinion that that constituted an aggravating factor,” the judges stated.

According to the court papers, Ekai murdered his wife Eunice Chepkemei on the night of March 26, 2011, at Kaibos Location within West Pokot County.

He was tried and convicted of the offence and sentenced to serve life imprisonment by Justice Stephen Githinji at the High Court in Kapenguria.

The judges noted that on the fateful night, the appellant had arrived home and attacked his wife using a club without any slightest provocation. He is said to have beat up his wife as his step-children watched helplessly.

One of the children even left to go and tell his grandmother about what was happening, but when he returned he found his step-father still assaulting his mother.

“Another child testified that the deceased was attacked until the stick broke into pieces whereupon the appellant went into the house took a jembe handle and continued attacking the deceased who was screaming. The attack persisted until the deceased went silent,” the court noted.

The judges maintained that Ekai’s intention was to kill his wife and that the court had no business interfering with the sentence that the trial court had given.

“The appellant attacked a helpless woman with a jembe handle without any provocation until he killed her. The choice of weapon and the excessive force used on the deceased was solely intended to kill her,”

“The extensive injuries on the body of the deceased as evidenced by the post mortem report confirms as much. The appellant must have known or ought to have known that his actions would either kill the deceased or occasion her grievous harm,” The judges stated.

The court also noted that the appellant disappeared after committing the heinous crime only to be arrested two and a half years later.

A postmortem report tabled in court showed that the deceased’s body had bruises on the face, blood from ears, nose, bruises on arms and on the thighs. The head was bruised on the left side of the skull and the cause of death was indicated to be intracranial bleeding.

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