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Court Of Appeal Discusses The Mitigating Factors When Passing A Sentence

In The Case Of Wamusonze Wilson V Uganda (Criminal Appeal No. 319 Of 20100 [20019] UGCA 178.

The Justices of the Court of Appeal JJA Elizabeth Musoke, Hellen Obura, Ezekeil Muhanguzi in their judgment delivered on the 25th June 2019 discuss mitigating factors before passing a sentence.

It was an appeal arising from the decision of the High Court at Kampala in criminal session case No.98 of 2010 before Justice Bamugemereire delivered on 25th November 2010 in which the appellant was convicted on his own plea of guilty, of the offence of aggravated defilement contrary to  S.129(3) and (4)(a) of the Penal Code Act and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

The background of the case was that the victim on 8/06/2009 at about 7pm was walking to new Mulago hospital when she met the appellant. She asked the appellant for directions but the appellant instead took her to his house and had sexual intercourse with her.

The appellant appealed against his conviction on grounds that the trial judge had failed to deduct the period spent on remand by the appellant from the sentence contrary to Article 23(8) of the constitution. The other ground for appeal was that the judge failed to consider the mitigating factors before passing sentence and also that the 30 years was excessive and unreasonable on a plea of guilty.

The Justices of the Court of Appeal held in their decision that Article 23(8) of the constitution provides that the period spent on remand by the convict must be taken into consideration while sentencing. They went on to add that the Sentencing Guidelines Court of Appeal (practice directions 2013)  require that court shall take into account any period spent on remand in determining an appropriate sentence and court shall deduct the period spent on remand from the sentence.