The High Court in Soroti has sentenced a man to 49 years in prison for raping and killing his lover.
Resident Judge David Batema convicted Ben Opolot of murder after he pleaded guilty to killing Christine Aleper, 19, by strangling.
While delivering his ruling, Batema observed that, “the accused is a young man of 22 years. He is a first time offender capable of reforming. But for this unjustified gruesome murder, I sentence him to 49 years imprisonment.”
The judge however, advised him to appeal against the sentence if he is not satisfied with the verdict.
Chronology of events
Prosecution told court that the Aleper was Opolot’s girlfriend and had a child with him.
On the fateful day, March 21, 2016, the deceased went to Akongo’s Bar in Adodoi village, Kapunjan Sub County in Katakwi district where she met Opolot and James Okedi and each of them bought for her drinks. The deceased was then escorted by Opolot to her home.
At 9pm, Opolot left the deceased’s home in the company of Aleper but while on their way, they met Okedi who grabbed Aleper’s hand preventing her from escorting Opolot.
Opolot abandoned the deceased and returned to his home but vowed to kill Aleper for cheating on him.
He then later conspired to rape Aleper, strangled her and left her lying along the road until the following day when the body was discovered by villagers.
The matter was reported to Police who carried out investigations and discovered that the body had distended neck, broken cervical atlas discoloration around the lower abdomen and semen around her private parts and the cause of death was strangulation due to broken the cervical atlas.
Opolot and Okedi who were the main suspects were examined under discharge where the former admitted to committing the crime.
Prosecution led by Harriet Adongo confirmed that Opolot had no valid defence to the charge and demanded a conviction as charged.
“The accused is a first offender but the murder was a horrible one. She was raped before she was killed, which is an aggravated factor. She had a child with Opolot who is now left without a mother. I pray for a stringent sentence,” Adongo demanded.
The defense lawyer Agnes Wazemwa however, argued that her client was a first time offender.
“He has pleaded guilty to the offence. He is still a young man of 22 years. He acted in a stupid manner for which he is now regretting.”
“It is evident that the accused and the deceased were parenting one child. The child now has no mother neither a guardian. I pray for the most lenient sentence of 8 years,” Wazemwa pleaded unsuccessfully with court.