Criminal Sessions case No. 175 of 2017
Judgment on 26thSeptember 2018
The juvenile offender in this case was indicted on one count of Murder contrary to Section 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act.
It is alleged that the juvenile offender on the 18th day of September, 2016 murdered a one Akongo Margaret. The prosecution case is that on the morning of 18th September 2016, the deceased was seen proceeding to her charcoal kiln near her home. The juvenile was seen headed in the same direction and suddenly the deceased was heard screaming for help. Her co-wife rushed to the scene where she found that the deceased had fallen onto the ground, dead. The juvenile was holding a hoe and charged against the co-wife and she ran away screaming her husband’s name for help. The husband ran to the scene where he met the deceased’s co-wife dashing away and found the body of his other wife. He searched around and spotted the accused juvenile a few meters away. He chased after him and managed to catch him with the help of several villagers who had hearkened to his alarm. The juvenile offender was handed over to the police and the body was taken to the hospital for post mortem. He denied the charge and stated that that morning, he was in the garden with his father and returned at 10:00 am. At around 11:00 am He went to search for wild fruits. While searching, he saw a lady and her husband running and when they saw him, they started screaming. He didn’t run and he was arrested right away. He was tortured when the LC took him to the scene where the co-wife alleged that he was the killer of the deceased. The prosecution was tasked to prove the case beyond reasonable doubt since the juvenile pleaded not guilty. In Ssekitoleko v. Uganda  EA 531), it is stated that the burden does not shift to the juvenile offender and he can only be adjudged responsible on the strength of the prosecution case and not because of weaknesses in his defense. The prosecution proved all the ingredients of the case of murder including the death of the deceased, which was unlawful, with malice aforethought and that the accused was responsible. This was done using the post mortem report, the degree of impact of the death weapon and circumstantial evidence that connected the accused to the scene of the crime.
The circumstances exclude every exculpatory hypothesis leaving only one rational conclusion to be drawn, of the responsibility of the juvenile offender. The prosecution has proved all the essential ingredients of the offence beyond reasonable doubt and hereby the juvenile is adjudged responsible for the offence of Murder contrary to Section 188 and 189 of the Penal Code Act. At sentencing, the period on remand of two years was considered as the maximum sentence for juveniles. A sentence of three years was delivered. The juvenile was sent to the remand home to start his sentence immediately.