The High Court in Eldoret has quashed the controversial acquittal of two suspects gang rape suspect of the then juvenile girl following an appeal filed by the prosecution after the trial Magistrate Court released them on the grounds of lack of evidence.
The duo, Allan Kipchumba and Dennis Kibiwott’s reprieve was short lived and are now facing charges for the offence of gang rape.
The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions represented by Jamleck Muriithi and Mark Mugun was dissatisfied with the judgment and filed an appeal.
The two were previously cleared by the trial court on March 17, 2023 as outlined in Section 10 of the Sexual Offences Act have now been convicted.
In a judgment delivered by Justice Nyakundi, it was found that the trial magistrate erred in acquitting the respondents based on inconclusive identification.
Justice Nyakundi further stated that the events were accurately described by the complainant.
The victim, who was 14 years old at the time of the incident, had testified in the trial court that the suspects who were her neighbours had transported her on a motorbike but in a dark spot they forced her into the bushes and raped her in turns.
The trial court had argued that proper identification was lacking and that the prosecution should have presented the area chief or community policing officers to confirm the suspects’ identity as neighbours.
The court has also ordered the arrest of the absent respondents for their subsequent appearance in court for mitigation and sentencing.
A status conference to ensure compliance with this order is scheduled for November 15, 2023.