1.The accused was initially charged with murder and later opted for plea bargaining which was acceptable to the state. The plea-bargaining agreement was filed on 15th July 2023. The accused pleased guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter contrary to Section 202 as read with Section 205 of the Penal Code. The offence was committed at Chaka Market within Nyeri County on 6th day of April 2019.
2.The brief facts were that the accused disagreed wit6 the deceased who was his father. After some hide and seek games within the home compound, the accused ran out of the compound as the deceased who had already been injured on the face remained behind. The deceased armed himself with a panga and swore that the accused will not return to live in his homestead. He threatened to kill the accused if was seen in that home again. The accused later returned and was confronted by the deceased at the gate of the home compound. The deceased cut the accused with the panga he had on the head. The accused then snatched the panga from the deceased and cut him severally which injuries were fatal.
3.The post mortem report was to the effect that the deceased died of severe penetrating injuries on the head, face, upper and lower limbs. The deceased died instantly after the attack. He was aged 74 years at the time of his death.
4.In mitigation, Ms Miriti the defence counsel said that the accused was remorseful and that he suffers from mental illness though there was no psychiatric report presented. However, the doctor who examined him formed an opinion that the accused suffers from a drug-induced psychosis. I have looked at the psychiatrist report by Dr. Gathuru dated and signed on 18th April 2019. The report was not conclusive in that the doctor did not determine the accused’s mental capability to plead. He indicated that he needed to interview a close relative of the accused before concluding the report. It seems that this gap was not closed before the parties entered into plea the agreement.
5.The pre-sentence report says the accused was aged 40 years by the time of examination and seems to have low intelligence and limited understanding of the situation he is in. The family are dead scared of the accused being released. The mother says the family fears for their lives in the event that the accused is released. The area Chief also fears for the security of the accused’s family and does not support a non-custodial sentence. The report recommends rehabilitation in an institutionalised facility for his safety and treatment.
6.I come to a conclusion that the accused is not suitable for a custodial sentence since his mental status is still questionable. It has been confirmed by the psychiatrist that he suffers from a drug-induced psychosis. In my view, I find that despite the mental condition of the accused, releasing him back to society is putting his family and the public at risk. The accused requires treatment in an institution as recommended by the Assistant Director of Probation in the pre-sentence report.
7.I therefore direct the Assistant Director Probation recommends an appropriate institution.
8.The accused continues to be held in Nyeri G.K. Prison pending further orders.