This case came up on 10th January 2018, in a special session for plea bargaining. The accused was indicted with the offence of Aggravated Defilement contrary to section 129 (3) and 4 (a) of The Penal Code Act.
On 19th September, 2016 the victim was sent to go and uproot cassava in the garden. While in the garden the accused, a relative to the family made sexual advances which the victim rejected. The accused thereafter forced the victim into sexual intercourse and told her not to tell anyone. On the same day the victim began feeling pain in her private parts and told her sister what the accused had done to her. The information reached her aunt and her husband who then reported to Parombo police post. He was arrested and charged. The police visited the scene and subjected both the accused and the victim to a medical examination in Parombo Health Centre III on 20th September, 2016. She was found to be of the apparent age of 12. Upon examination of the vulva it was tender and the probable cause was a blunt object possibly sex. The accused was examined in Nebbi on 26th September, 2016 and he was found to be above 18 years old and of normal mental status.
At the plea, the accused was convicted on his own plea of guilt for the offence of aggravated defilement contrary to section 129 (3) and 4 (a) of The Penal Code Act. The state attorney reported to have successfully secured a plea bargain with the accused and his counsel. He was also told the consequences of the plea bargain which among others is that when you plead guilty you waive your rights to a full trial.
In review of the proposed sentence of five years’ imprisonment in light of the Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions, 2013 as well as the current sentencing practices for offences of this nature.
With the reference to the following decided cases;
- Agaba Job v. Uganda C.A. Cr. Appeal No. 230 of 2003where the court of appeal in its judgment of 8th February 2006 upheld a sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment in respect of an appellant who was convicted on his own plea of guilty upon an indictment of defilement of a six-year-old girl.
- Lubanga v. Uganda C.A. Cr. Appeal No. 124 of 2009, in its judgment of 1st April 2014, the court of appeal upheld a 15-year term of imprisonment for a convict who had pleaded guilty to an indictment of aggravated defilement of a one-year old girl.
- Abot Richard v. Uganda C.A. Crim. Appeal No. 190 of 2004, in its judgment of 6th February 2006, the Court of Appeal upheld a sentence of 8 years’ imprisonment for an appellant who was convicted of the offence defilement of a 13-year-old girl but had spent three years on remand before sentence.
- Lukwago v. Uganda C.A. Crim. Appeal No. 36 of 2010the Court of appeal in its judgment of 6th July 2014 upheld a sentence of 13 years’ imprisonment for an appellant convicted on his own plea of guilty for the offence of aggravated defilement of a thirteen-year-old girl. Lastly,
- Ongodia Elungat John Michael v. Uganda C.A. Cr. Appeal No. 06 of 2002where a sentence 5 years’ imprisonment was meted out to 29-year-old accused, who had spent two years on remand, for defiling and impregnating a fifteen-year-old school girl.
Having considered the aggravating factors including the fact that the offence is punishable by death, the age of the victim, the mitigating factors including the fact that the accused is a first-time offender who is remorseful and a young man capable of reforming, he was sentenced to a term of five (5) years imprisonment