Underwear Thief Bags Ten Years in Jail

A 32 year old man  Stephen Wambugu Thunguri  who was found guilty of stealing another man's underwear among other properties by lower court in Nyeri and convicted to serve ten year jail term or Sh100,000 fine has lost appeal against the sentence in the High Court.
Stephen Wambugu Thunguri was found guilty of burglary and stealing an underwear, pillow, bedding, trouser, sweater and other items all worth up to Sh40,000 properties of John Wambugu on the night of 3rd and 4th June, 2015 in Thunguri village In Nyeri county.

In his appeal at higher court, he cited lower court erred by believing that the items were on his possession, that he was not given warning when he confessed and that case was weak.
In the lower court it was alleged that the Stephen forcefully broke and entered the house before committing the offence. 

Appearing as a witness, a taxi driver said that he was on his way from Othaya when he saw an assortment of household goods besides the road at around midnight and called his neighbor and a village elder who summoned the police.As they waited for the police, Stephen arrived on a motorcycle and informed them that those items were his and that he was in the process of moving house.

The motorcycle rider who drove Stephen  further testified that the Stephen woke him up at 1.00 am on 4th June, 2015 and requested him to carry some goods for him.
He knew him because he was his uncle and together they proceeded to the scene where the goods were and met with the other witnesses. He further identified the goods in court as those that were at the scene.

According to the court record, the complainant (John Wambugu) was in Nairobi when his mother called and informed him that his house had been broken into.
Indeed, he returned to find that the padlock with which he had locked his house broken and several items from the house stolen.
He made a report to the police at Othaya police station, who told him that his properties had in fact been recovered. He identified them at the police station and also in court where they were exhibited as evidence. 

In his defence, the accused (stephen) stated that on 3rd June, 2015 he had been working in Othaya town until 10:30 PM when he went to a bar and later hired a motor cycle to take him home. While on their way, they encountered a motor vehicle with lights on.

Out of curiosity, they stopped and met a taxi driver and the village elder at the scene. These two people, according to the stephen, said that he claimed the goods to be his and it is then that he was arrested and taken to Othaya police station.

"As to whether a felony had been committed after the break-in, both the complainant and his mother led consistent and uncontroverted evidence to the effect that those items or properties found by the roadside were the complainant's" partly reads judgment delivered on 2nd June by High Court Judge Jairus Ngaah.

Adding that "these items were carted away from the complainant's house after it had been broken into appears to me to be a logical and the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.”

According to the court document signed on 2nd June 2017 the prosecution proved to the required standard was incompatible with the innocence of the appellant and incapable of explanation upon any other reasonable hypothesis than that of his guilt.

"I therefore find that the appellant was properly convicted and sentenced. His appeal does not have any merit and it is hereby dismissed," concluded Jairus Ngaah.


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