Malindi imam is still guilty of sodomizing his stepson, Malindi High Court judge Reuben Nyakundi reaffirmed
However, he reduced his life sentence to 25 years.
Nyakundi said Omar Said Omar left the victim, 12, with a permanent scar, and betrayed the trust and love the child had for him.
In November 2018, Malindi Senior Principal Magistrate Sylvia Wewa, handed Omar, a life sentence. She found Omar guilty of the March 2016 crime, which occurred at Maweni in Malindi, Kilifi County.
But Omar appealed for acquittal, which he failed to get after Nyakundi said he was heartless.
“How heartless can a family member, a father, go after his own child for sexual gratification?” the judge said when he delivered his judgment.
Nyakundi said he reduced Omar’s sentence because he had strong mitigation – he is young, (36-years-old), remorseful, knowledgeable in Islamic skills and law, trains in Madrassa, and can take a position of responsibility.
The judge said there was no real atonement.
He said term imprisonment is enough to punish the crime and send a strong message that society considers sodomy an abomination.
“That term will be the one to place this case within one of the serious offences where the punishment must be proportionate to the crime, Nyakundi said.
“In my considered view, and taking all factors to account, I hereby sentence the convict to an imprisonment of 25 years, to be served from November 15, 2018.”
Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) rescued the minor after the assault and represented him in court.
The mother of the victim celebrated Nyakundi’s verdict, a week after she had asked the court to lock Omar behind bars for good.
Nyakundi said the case had aggravating factors, which included the victim’s tender age and the relationship he had with the perpetrator.
The minor was aged nine when Omar, whom he considered his father, sodomised him.
“The victim looked upon Omar for trust, provision, and safekeeping of his welfare. For him, the accused was the last person he expected will destroy his dignity and security,” Nyakundi said.
Although Omar committed the crime over two years ago, Nyakundi said, the child has a phobia.
“Whenever he sees men, he runs away because of the trauma. The photogenic picture is still fresh despite the passage of time,” the judge said.
He said the victim has not healed.
“For him, every person in the image of the convict is a person after his sexuality. The context of this sexual act happening within the family cycle places this case on his unique level,” the judge said.
MUHURI said the punishment is a positive mark in the war against sexual gender-based violence.
Omar has 14 days to appeal.
(Ernest Cornel is MUHURI’s communications, monitoring, and evaluation officer)