A-35-year-old rape, defilement and violent robbery convict has lost his final appeal, in which he had sought the Supreme Court to cut short his imprisonment and release him, arguing that the trial court had not deducted the two years he had spent on remand when sentencing him in 2010.
Tamson Naturinda had also faulted the Court of Appeal, complaining that while varying the trial court’s 18 years imprisonment and imposed its own of 16 years imprisonment; it simply varied an illegally imposed sentence that had violated the Constitution.
Justices Stella-Maris Arach-Amoko, Eldad Mwangusya, Rubby Opio-Aweri, Faith Mwondha and Lillian Tibatemwa Ekirikubinza dismissed the appeal, ordering that the appellant must serve the sentence of 16 years imprisonment as veried by the Court of Appeal.
In 2010, the High Court found Naturinda and others, guilty of rape, defilement and aggravated robbery and sentenced each of them to 18 years imprisonment on each of the three charges, but the sentences concurrently. The appellant was aged 27 at the time he committed the offences.
Upon appeal the Court of Appeal ordered each of the convicts to serve 13 years imprisonment for rape and 16 years imprisonment for defilement and violent robbery and the sentences to run concurrently, meaning that the convicts were now to serve 16 years in prison.
The appellate court agreed with Susan Wakabala, the lawyer that represented the appellant and ruled that it was erroneous for the trial court to abdicate its obligation when it left the prison authority to consider the two years the appellant had spent on remand when passing the sentence of 18 years.
The defence lawyer had argued that the trial court’s misdirection on that point had rendered its sentence a nullity and the Supreme Court should set the sentence aside and free the appellant forthwith.
However, the Supreme Court agreed with Senior State Attorney Isaiah Wanamama that the Court of Appeal did not violate the Constitution when varying the trial court’s sentence and imposing the new sentences of 16 years imprisonment and invalidating the 18 years imprisonment.
“There was nothing illegal with that and that did not culminate in confirmation of an illegal sentence. Nevertheless, the appellant committed a multiplicity of offences of which the maximum sentence is death. We find no merit in the appeal, which we dismiss. So, the appellant must serve the sentence as varied by the Court of Appeal, which this court confirms now” the court ruled.
It was alleged that in October 2008 thugs who were village mates broke into the home a fellow village mate Harriet Kyomuhendo with deadly weapons demanding to be given money, which the victim did not have.
The attackers resorted to sexual assault on Kyomuhendo and her 16-year-old daughter. They also robbed them of sh100,000 and other valuable household items.