Tuesday May 13 2014

Only God can judge me, murder convict tells court

By Geoffrey Omara

Apac- There was drama at the High Court in Apac when a murder convict told the presiding judge that she had no powers to hear the case against him.

Lady Justice Winifred Nabisinde had earlier sentenced Haron Odongoto 45 years in jail.

However, after hearing his sentence, Odongo said it is only God in heaven who can judge him.
In June 2011 court found that Odongo murdered a four-year- old child belonging to his former girlfriend.

Prosecution lead by Gloria Akello told court that when Odongo’s friendship with the deceased’s mother ended, he vowed to do something that his ex will never forget.
Ms Akello then asked court to jail Odongo for 70 years as a deterrent.

The deceased, Victoria Akello, a pupil of Lady Edina Nursery School in Apac Town Council, was sexually abused, before she was strangled to death and her body thrown in a pit-latrine.

Court’s duty
Justice Nabisinde said prosecution produced evidence that proved beyond reasonable doubt that Odongo had intention to kill Victoria.
“...It is the duty of the court to perform its duty and also to ensure that the lives of children in the communities are not in danger when people like you are still within,” Justice Nabisinde ruled on Friday.

Odongo’s lawyers had earlier asked for a lenient sentence, saying the convict is a first time offender.

Ms Evaline Ayugi, the programme officer of the Apac Anti-Corruption Coalition, said the sentence was lenient compared to the magnitude of the crime committed.

“I expected 100 years or even a death sentence to be given to Odongo since the deceased was young and still had a brighter future. This may not serve as a deterrent to others...”

Before the trial, Odongo told Daily Monitor that he will continue with his education while serving his sentence.

“I have seen the importance of education and if this court is to give me a deterrent sentence, I will continue with my education from where I had stopped.”

Odongo, who stopped in Senior Two, says he wants to become a lawyer.