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Mentally ill woman who killed only child jailed

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Mentally ill woman who killed only child jailed

A woman accused of killing her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter in 2019 has been sentenced to a three-year jail term by the High Court in Nyeri.

In a judgement issued on Thursday, Justice Florence Muchemi convicted the suspect with the lesser offence of manslaughter instead of the murder charge she was facing previously. 

The judge said that she considered the accused’s medical condition during sentencing, noting that a medical report from the Nyeri Provincial General Hospital showed that the suspect had been diagnosed with bipolar depressive disorder. 

Justice Muchemi said that she spared the woman from the heavy sentence for murder since she was undergoing treatment even before she committed the offence.

“The accused through her defense lawyer have proven that she did not intend to kill her only child as she was not in her right state of mind. Her medical report shows that she has been attending clinics since 2018 which was even before the incident,” ruled the judge.

A plea-bargaining agreement presented in court, signed by both the Director of Public Prosecutions and the accused, showed that the State withdrew a previous murder charge and substituted it with manslaughter. This was on the condition that the accused admitted her guilt to the lesser offence.

The suspect also agreed to co-operate by continuing treatment and seeking counseling from a certified practitioner.

“The accused person also agrees to submit herself to be interviewed by law enforcement agents when the need arises,” read part of the deal.

In return, the prosecution team, led by lawyer Duncan Ondimu, requested the court for leniency during sentencing.

Mr Ondimu said the suspect was in custody since December 17, 2019 when she was arrested. The court heard that she had recorded a confession explaining what transpired on the fateful day.

post-mortem report of her two-and-a-half-year-old daughter showed that the deceased suffered head injuries after the mother slashed her to death with a machete.

After the incident, the suspect called and informed a friend about what she had done.

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