High Court in Entebbe has sentenced a 39-year-old man, Isaac Ssebowa to seven years in jail after pleading guilty to two counts of aggravated defilement.
Ssebowa first pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated defilement before Justice Joseph Murangira on the first day of the criminal session that opened at the High Court in Entebbe but denied the second count.
Court heard that Ssebowa, a resident of Kibundu in Kakiri Town Council in Wakiso district on April 13, 2013 waylaid two pupils, a ten year-old and her eight-year old colleague on their way to school and dragged them to a nearby bush and defiled them in turns.
Before sentence, the judge allowed Ssebowa to enter a plea-bargain with the prosecution where he pleaded guilty to the second count.
(A plea bargain is an understanding or agreement between a defendant and a prosecutor, in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty or no contest (nolo contendere) in exchange for an agreement by the prosecutor to reduce a charge to a less serious offense, or recommend to the judge a specific sentence)
Justice Murangira later sentenced Ssebowa to three years in jail for the two counts considering the four years (since April 2013) he had spent on remand.
Meanwhile, Justice Murangira has appealed to offenders to embrace the court's innovation of plea-bargain campaign by pleading guilty to charges if they know they committed the offenses. He said this will in return earn the offenders concessions of getting lesser sentences.
"If you know you committed the offense, say so and get a less sentence" the judge said.
He was speaking to journalists from his chambers at the high court in Entebbe town after opening a criminal session, which will run for forty days between 18th April and June 14, 2017.
Murangira is scheduled to hear 41 cases including 15 aggravated robberies, one simple robbery, 14 aggravated defilement, two rape and nine murders.
The judge said that the judiciary was still short of judges but said that the new strategy of encouraging offenders to plead guilty would reduce on the case backlogs.
"I know we have a problem where majority of people are Christians but do not want to repent as per the Holy Scriptures, they deny charges they know they committed but after a long trial they are found guilty," he said.
Murangira however said that the increased number of criminal cases before courts of law was on the other side a positive indicator that people have started believing in the rule of the law instead of applying mob justice or taking the law in their hands.
"The many criminal cases may at the same time imply that people now cherish the rule of the law," he explained.