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Justice Stephen Mubiru explains how pleading guilty may mitigate a sentence in the case of Uganda V Kayondo

Criminal Session No. 0477 of 2015

Hon. Justice Stephen Mubiru in his judgment delivered on the 9th January 2019 discussed mitigating factors to sentencing.

This was a case of aggravated defilement c/s 129(3) (4) (a) of the Penal Code and the accused pleaded guilty as charged.The accused having pleaded guilty, was convicted and sentenced to 14 years and 10 months.  Hon. Justice Mubiru explained that the maximum penalty for aggravated defilement is death although the manner in which the offence was committed did not create a life threatening situation, in the sense that death was not a likely immediate consequence of the act to justify death penalty. It was sufficiently grave to warrant a deterrent custodial sentence starting with 30 years since the offender was 24years, HIV positive and the victim was 8 years.

Justice Mubiru further stated that as a general principle, an offender who pleads guilty may expect some credit in the form of a discount on the sentence although it is at courts discretion.

The period spent on remand is also deducted in accordance with Article 23(8) of the constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995.

Putting all the factors in consideration, the sentence was reduced to 14years and 10months.