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Court of Appeal Upholds Man's 24-Year Jail Sentence 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 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 Stephen Mubiru.

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 Judge.

During the hearing, the accused appeared in court via video conferencing connecting to the Lira government’s prison where he has been since 2013. 



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