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Woman, Son Sentenced to Six Years for Torturing Grandchild

The magistrate Samsom Abiti Loum said that the convicts were not only elders but also blood relatives who could have taken care of their infant victim and ensured that he was protected from all forms of danger.
The victim and her maternal grand mother in court (Photo by Immaculate Amony)

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The Chief Magistrate's Court in Lira has sentenced a mother together with her son to six years in prison for domestic violence and torture of a child.

Marcelina Akoli, 80 years, and her son Geoffrey Ojok who are residents of Barlonyo in Lira District were arrested in 2018 when Akoli burnt her grandchild’s (Emmanuel Ojok) hand in fire.

The duo was charged with domestic violence and child torture.

They appeared before His Worship Samsom Abiti Loum, the chief magistrate on Thursday from where they were sentenced to 12 months in prison for domestic violence or pay a fine of 500,000 and 5 years in prison or pay a Shs.2m fine for child torture.

In his ruling, the magistrate Samsom Abiti Loum explained that the convicts were not only elders but also blood relatives who could have taken care of the victim and ensured that he was protected from all forms of danger but they acted otherwise.

He said: “In this case, the court learnt that the convicts are very close relatives to the victim; A1 being a paternal grandmother and A2 is his biological father. Court has considered your mitigation factors but the court also saw the victim with a burnt hand and cannot imagine anything which can bring back his hand and for that reason I am sentencing you based on the fact that you two had the responsibility of protecting the victim but instead hurt him even though he was only 4 years at the time.”

Earlier, prosecution alleged that in 2018, Ojok who was residing in Lira Municipality took custody of his son identified as Emmanuel Ojok who was only 4 years at the time, and handed him over to his mother Akoli, a resident of Barlonyo in Agweng sub-county from where she intentionally pushed his hand into a burning fire, burning all his right-hand fingers causing permanent damage to the child.

However, Dolly Ogwang, a member of the child protection committee at Angwetangwet ‘A’ village where the child is currently staying with her maternal grandmother believes that the ruling is not fair for the child who she says is still struggling to cope with life after the horrible ordeal she went through.

Luo byte: “//Cue in: “Tin kit adang… //

Cue out: … me bino, me dok.”//

Some locals are concerned over the rise in the number of cases of crimes against children. Two days ago, the Grade One Magistrate court in Lira charged and remanded Steven Aine Mugisha over aggravated defilement and child trafficking charges.

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