14-year-old boy faces jail after bloody ‘friendship fight’  

Court is set to rule on the matter late February 2022. 

What you need to know:

  • He is expected to return to court on February 24 when he will listen to his sentence.

The Magistrate’s Court in Lira City has remanded a Primary Five (P5) pupil after he pleaded guilty of injuring a Senior Two (S2) student during a “friendship fight” in December last year.

The 14-year-old who has been remanded to Gulu regional remand home awaiting sentencing on February 24, is facing charges of causing grievous bodily harm.

The suspect who allegedly came into conflict with the law studies at Adyel Boarding Primary School in Lira City, while the offended – David Ogwal – is a student at Aloi Senior Secondary School in Alebtong District.

Appearing before the Magistrate’s Court last Thursday, February 10, the pupil said they were playing but eventually turned into a fight.

“Ogwal started the whole thing. I fell down after he gave me a heavy blow on my cheek. So, I got up and also hit him on the head in self-defense. As a result, he sustained an injury,” he said.

Ogwal’s father, Mr Joel Ekol, told court that after the bloody incident, they spent Shs4.2 million in the child’s treatment at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

The 14-year-old boy was then convicted on his own plea of guilt and remanded to Gulu regional remand home.

He is expected to return to court on February 24 when he will listen to his sentence.

However, Daily Monitor learnt that the child was still being detained together with other adults in a cell at Lira Central Police Station. The victim had already reported back to school but his parents earlier informed the court that the son was still being hospitalized at Mulago Hospital.

Mr Anatoli Katungwensi, the North Kyoga regional police commander, confirmed that indeed the child was still under police custody.

“Once a suspect appears in courts of law and remanded, he/she ceases to be in police hands. For the juveniles, it’s the responsibility of the district probation officer to ensure that they are transported to children’s remand home,” the regional police commander said via WhatsApp message on Monday.

“This one in particular was handed back to the police because the probation officer wasn’t available. The Child and Family Protection Unit (CFPU) police department will liaise with responsible authorities to ensure he’s transported to Gulu,” he added.

The accused juvenile’s mother, Ms Colline Akite said the police summoned her to hand over her son to them or else face arrest.

Mr Gasper Okello, a resident of Kasubi Cell in Lira City West Division, said he tried to mediate the negotiation between the two families but was chased away by police.

“Even the parents of the victim refused me to attend the negotiations before the LCI chairman of Kasubi Cell with intent to defraud the poor mother (Ms Akite). The parents of the S2 student made it very clear that without seeing Shs4.2 million, no negotiation would go on,” Mr Okello, who is the secretary for Finance and Administration of Otuke District, said.