Kisumu Court Commutes Life Sentence of Child Sex Abuser

May 30, 2023

On Monday, the Kisumu High Court dismissed an appeal filed by Italian national Paolo Camelini, upholding a judgment made by the Winam Magistrates Court.

In February 2022, the Italian national was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the crime of defiling a 3-year-old boy.

However, he appealed, asserting that the lower court made a legal error by permitting an intermediary to testify on behalf of the victim.

Additionally, he argued that the trial court failed to acknowledge that the oral testimony given by the intermediary was not provided on behalf of the victim.

Paolo further contended that the repeated mention of the name “Paolo” by the victim was insufficient evidence to establish the appellant’s identity.

The court rejected the appeal based on lacking merit, and the prosecution proving the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

Lady Justice Roseline Aburili concurred with the lower court’s decision, emphasizing that due to the victim’s young age of 3 years, the child could not provide testimony directly.

The Judge said it was necessary for an intermediary to testify on behalf of the victim, and the evidence presented by the intermediary was considered as the testimony of the victim.

Furthermore, the court ruled that the prosecution, led by Senior Principal Prosecution Counsel (SPPC) John Okoth, successfully established the evidence of both the defilement and the identification of the appellant, as well as the age of the victim, beyond any reasonable doubt.

Nevertheless, the Court overturned the life imprisonment sentence imposed by the lower court and instead substituted it with a 30-year imprisonment term.

The Court stated that the lower court had failed to take into account the fact that the appellant was a first-time offender.

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