This case came up on 10th January 2018, in a special session for plea bargaining. The accused was indicted with the offence of Simple Defilement contrary to section 129 (1) of The Penal Code Act.
It was alleged that on 22nd February 2016 at Palley West Village in Nebbi District the accused had unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.
On 22nd February, 2016 as the victim was going to the garden, she met the accused whom she came to know during an introduction ceremony. He walked beside her and attempted to engage her in a conversation. The accused met his friends and they tried to stop the victim but she refused. Later she proceeded to the garden to uproot cassava. The accused and his friends followed and they sat in the garden. After a short while the accused moved to the victim grabbed her and in her attempt to make an alarm the accused blocked her mouth, wrestled her down removed the knickers and had sexual intercourse with her. The accused was found on top of the victim and he fled immediately. He was followed up to his home. The father of the accused advised them to go the L.C. who reported to Ndeu Police Post in Ndeu sub-county. The accused was arrested and admitted having committed the offence in his charge and caution statement. The accused was examined in Nebbi on 23rd February, 2016. He was of the apparent age of 28 years and of normal mental status. The victim was examined on the 22ndof February 2016 at Paminya Health Centre III and found to be between 16 – 17 years old. Her vulva was soiled with silvery mucus and her hymen found to be raptured for a long time. No other physical injury was found during the examination. Police form 24 was tendered as part of the facts.
Upon court ascertaining the correctness of the facts, he was convicted on his own plea of guilt for the offence of simple defilement contrary to section 129 (1) of The Penal Code Act. A successful plea negotiation was secured with the accused and his counsel. The introduction of the plea agreement confirmed that the accused had not been coerced to plead guilty and that he had been told the consequences of the plea bargain which among others is that when you plead guilty you waive your rights to a full trial.
The Judge in making his judgment considered the following:
- The proposed sentence of three years’ imprisonment in light of The Constitution (Sentencing Guidelines for Courts of Judicature) (Practice) Directions, 2013
- The current sentencing practices and practices for offences of this nature,
- The case of Abot Richard v. Uganda C.A. Crim. Appeal No. 190 of 2004, where in its judgment entered on the 6th of 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
- The case of Ongodia Elungat John Michael v. Uganda C.A. Cr. Appeal No. 06 of 2002where a sentence of 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.
- The aggravating factors like the age of the victim, the need to protect the girl child, and the mitigating factors that the accused is a first-time offender and has been on remand for over a year.
The accused was sentenced to three (3) years in prison.