1.Kennedy Mwangi Ngigi, the applicant herein has approached this court vide an undated Notice of Motion application filed on December 28, 2021 seeking review of the sentence in Ruiru Criminal Case (SO) No 17 of 2019. In that case the applicant was sentenced to five (5) years imprisonment for the offence of defilement contrary to section 8(1) as read with section 8(3) of the Sexual Offences Act.
2.The applicant contends that the lower court while passing sentence did not consider his mitigation and that he was a first offender. And therefore, the said sentence was harsh and inappropriate. He submitted that the remaining portion of his prison sentence be substituted with a non-custodial sentence. The applicant further contends that the time he spent in remand was not considered as provided for under section 333(2) of the Criminal Procedure Code. He calls upon the court to exercise its revisionary powers under Section 362 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
3.The state did file a response to the application.
4.I have carefully considered the application as well as the probation officer’s report filed. I have also perused the lower court’s record in Ruiru SO No 17 of 2019 and confirmed that the applicant was arraigned in court for plea on September 30, 2019 having been arrested the previous day on September 29, 2019.
5.After the hearing of the case the learned trial magistrate convicted the applicant and while sentencing stated:
6.The only issue to determine is whether the sentence herein should be revised.
7.This being an application involving the court’s revisionary jurisdiction, it is important to set out the law that governs the exercise of the court’s power of revision in criminal cases. That power is donated by Section 362 as read with Section 364 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Section 362 states as follows:And Section 364 reads as follows;Provided that this subsection shall not apply to an order made where a subordinate court has failed to pass a sentence which it was required to pass under the written law creating the offence concerned.”
8.From a reading of the above provisions, it is clear that the court can only revise or interfere with an order or sentence passed by the trial court if it was satisfied that there was an illegality, error, or irregularity in the proceedings that gave rise to the challenged order or sentence.
9.In this instance the trial court after conducting a full hearing the learned trial magistrate found that there was overwhelming evidence that the applicant had committed the offence of defilement against the victim, a child then aged 15 years. The applicant was found guilty, convicted and sentenced to the term of 5 years imprisonment.
10.The provisions of Section 8(3) of the Sexual Offences Act provide for the punishment for the offence and reads as follows;
11.I must state for the record that the trial court did not overlook any material factors when passing sentence and took into consideration the circumstances of the case and the fact that the applicant was a first-time offender. The plea for revision of the sentence on the ground that the sentence was harsh and inappropriate must therefore fail.
13.No doubt the law requires that courts consider the period the convict spent in custody.
17.As hereinabove observed, the applicant was arraigned and took plea on September 30, 2019. A perusal of the lower court record shows that, other than the learned trial magistrate acknowledging that the applicant had been in custody since September 30, 2019, she failed to take into account that period after passing the 5 years sentence.
18.The upshot is that the sentence review application only succeeds to the extent that the 5 years prison term imposed will run from the date the applicant was arrested, that is on September 29, 2019.Orders accordingly.