THE CASE OF LYDIA ACHIENG JUMA WHO IS CURRENTLY SERVING HER SENTENCE AT LANG’ATA WOMEN’S PRISON
LOWER COURT RECORDS: KIBERA CRIMINAL CASE No 4892 of 2010 REPUBLIC VERSUS LYDIA ACHIENG JUMA
HIGH COURT RECORDS: CRIMINAL DIVISION, CRIMINAL APPEAL NO 114 OF 2013
LYDIA ACHIENG JUMA – (APPELLANT) VERSUS REPUBLIC –( RESPONDENT)
The Judiciary’s attention has been drawn to a media report carried by several media houses and also circulating widely on social media regarding the above case.
A review of our court records reveal that Lydia Achieng Juma was charged with the offence of Committing an Indecent Act with a Child Contrary to Section 11(1) of the Sexual Offences Act no 3 of 2006.
Lydia was taken through the full trial process. The court heard her out while the State called four witnesses including the 13-year-old minor who was the victim. It was established that Lydia lured the boy into having sex with her on three different occasions between August and September 2010.
After trial, she was convicted accordingly and sentenced to serve 10 years imprisonment.
The Magistrate, D.O. Onyango, observed that:
“I find that the accused took advantage of Prosecution Witness 1’s (the young boy) age and mind in order to achieve her selfish motives. She not only touched him inappropriately in a manner which was obviously indecent, but went on and had sex with him. She should be lucky that the prosecution preferred a lesser charge of indecent assault against her (because the minor was not examined by a doctor). In a nutshell, I find that the prosecution proved (its case) beyond reasonable doubt…”
APPEAL IN THE HIGH COURT
Aggrieved by the above Magistrate’s Court decision, Lydia Achieng filed an Appeal on July 11, 2016 in the High Court.
It is noted that before the High Court, Lydia only appealed against the Sentence and not the Conviction. In that case, the court was only enjoined to determine the propriety of the sentence. In doing so, while citing the relevant law, the learned judge Lady Justice Grace Ngenye stated as follows:
“Any person who commits an indecent act with a child is guilty of an offence of committing an indecent act with a child and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term of not less than 10 years.”
The provision is couched in mandatory terms such that the minimum sentence provided is of not less than ten years. The Judge noted therefore that, not withstanding her mitigating factors, the sentence could not be varied. She added that save for poor investigations, it was a case deserving of a conviction for the offence of defilement because it was established by three of the four witnesses who testified that she had had sexual intercourse with the minor boy.
Her appeal was not only dismissed, but the Judge said Lydia was lucky not to get more years in jail as the State did not indicate that it wanted to have the sentence enhanced.
THE JUDICIARY’S POSITION
The Judiciary’s position on this matter is that Lydia Achieng was taken through the full due legal and trial process, including an opportunity to appeal. She is a properly and conclusively convicted sexual offender. The Judiciary has a responsibility to apply the law and ensure those adults who sexually prey on minors are duly punished.
Meanwhile, we urge media to always verify stories from inmates against the court records to avoid misleading the public. In this case, Judiciary takes great exception to not being afforded an opportunity to comment before the story went on air. A matter so straight forward, from where Judiciary stands, is now casting undue aspersions on the institution.
It is also very unfortunate that Lydia Achieng at the tail end of her jail term, when she is supposed to have reformed, wants to leave jail not only with a blot on her own credibility but dragging the name and image of the Judiciary through the mud.
The Judiciary remains committed to its Constitutional mandate of administering justice to all without fear or favour, and that includes the boy who was a victim of Lydia Achieng’s despicable behaviour.
Deputy Director, Public Affairs & Communication