Two brothers have been srntenced to death after being rendered guilty of robbing their neighbour after hitting him on the head with sticks while threatening to kill him.
Kericho Principal Magistrate Benard Rugut pronounced the sentence against Wesley Kiprono Rotich, 27 and Alfred Kipngetich Rotich, 32, after the prosecution proved the case against them.
The two committed the offence on 25 December 2017 in Kapsuser area in Belgut sub-county, Kericho where they violently robbed Robert Kibet Yegon of an Infix phone valued at KSh.15, 299.
According to the claims presented to the court, at around 6pm on the day of the crime, the complainant was walking on a road heading to Kapsuser Trading center from his home when he was waylaid by the first accused who threatened to kill him while holding a stick.
The first accused went ahead to assault the complainant by hitting him on the head with the said stick. The second accused person joined in the attack and he too hit the accused on the head with a stick.
The complainant managed to flee but his phone dropped to the ground and the two accused persons caught up with him, pinning him down and tied a belt around his neck with the aim of strangling him. However, the accused failed to execute the strungling as he raised alarm, alerting members of the public who rescued him.
A witness, among the six lined up by the prosecution told the court that she saw the two accused persons assaulting the complainant twice as she was very near the scene.
The two were arrested and escorted to Sosiot police station where they were charged with the offence.
The complainant received treatment for the face and head injuries he sustained during the robbery at Kericho County Referral Hospital and a P3 form was issued.
During the cross-examination with the complainant, the prosecution noted that the two accused lived 300 meters apart from one another.
The first accused person Wesley Kiprono Rotich had in his defense while on oath told the court that on 25 December 2017 at 6 pm he was at home when he responded to some screams on the road to Kapsuser where he rushed to the scene and found a crowd having pinned the complainant on grounds as he had fought his elder brother, the second accused person. He stated that he separated them before going back to his house. He also denied stealing the phone.
The second accused, Alfred Kipngetich Rotich in his defense while on oath said that on a fateful day at 6pm he met a drunk man who held him by his neck before the complainant arrived and started assaulting him.
A probation report tabled before the court stated the two accused persons as first offenders who promised not to repeat a similar offence.
Principal Magistrate Rugut found the two brothers guilty of the charge observing that there was no other explanation as to why they were arrested and charged with the offence of robbery with violence as they were clearly seen in broad daylight participating in the assault and robbery by members of the public.
“In light of the foregoing principles, on the identification of two accused persons who were positively identified as neighbours of the accused person and the offence was committed in broad daylight and witnessed by members of the public, I therefore find that the accused persons were seen participating in the assault and robbery in the circumstances. Accordingly, the two accused persons are convicted for the offence of robbery with violence.” said Rugut.
The court reminded the accused of their right to appeal the sentence within 14 days if dissatisfied.