In 2016, Richard Okello, a resident of Ageno Village in Nebbi District was sentenced to 24 years in jail for rape by the then Arua High Court Judge Stephen Mubiru.
Jusitce Elizabeth Musoke reading her judgement
The Court of Appeal has upheld the 24-year jail term meted out
to a farmer in Nebbi District for rape.
In 2016, Richard Okello, a resident of Ageno Village in Nebbi District
was sentenced to 24 years in jail for rape by the then Arua High Court Judge
According to the prosecution, Okello on May 15 2013, at Ageno Village raped Pimer
Fortunate, Immaculate Pimerpaworth and Molly Bedayika, whom he found collecting
firewood in his forest without permission. Okello ordered the three women to
carry the firewood they had purportedly stolen and take it to a near by place
where he was burning charcoal.
Okello later tied each of his victims hands, undressed and raped them. Medical
records indicate that he infected them with HIV.
However, through his lawyer Shamim Amollo, Okello appealed the sentence
in the Court of Appeal. Okello argued that the trial judge erred in law and
fact when he sentenced him to 24 years imprisonment to run consecutively which
is harsh and manifestly excessive in the circumstance.
But the Chief State Attorney Fatina Nakafeero opposed the appeal
saying that the trial Judge had a comprehensive consideration of both the
mitigating and aggravating factors that formed his decision.
Justice Mubiru handed him the sentence on grounds that he needed
to promote respect for the law and to protect the public from further crimes of
the accused. Mubiru also reasoned that there was a need to provide the accused
with adequate time for correctional treatment in the most effective manner.
However, in their Judgement, the three Justices of the court of
appeal Elizabeth Musoke, Hellen Obura and Remmy Kasule said that the High Court
Judge carefully considered and reviewed the laws governing sentencing and gave
sound reasons as to why he imposed the sentence upon the appellant and why he
had to serve the same consecutively and not concurrently.
"The learned sentencing Judge properly took into account the
period the appellant had spent on remand while determining the sentence that
the appellant had to serve “, reads the ruling.
The Justices also noted that they don’t have any reason to
interfere with the sentencing decision of the learned sentencing Judge.
"The appellant is to continue serving the sentences of 8
years imprisonment on each one of the three counts, the same to be served
consecutively thus totalling 24 years imprisonment”, adding that the serving of
the sentence will start from October 6, 2016, as ordered by the sentencing
During the hearing, the accused appeared in court via video
conferencing connecting to the Lira government’s prison where he has been since