Man Sentenced For Blinding Sister-in-Law With Pliers Over Sh500 Feud

June 16, 2023

A court in Kisumu has handed down a 10-year prison sentence to a man who was found guilty of causing grievous bodily harm to his sister-in-law over a Sh500 dispute.

Winam Law Courts Principal Magistrate Fatuma Rashid found Isaac Onditi, 43, guilty of the March 11 incident that blinded Ms. Janet Awino.

During the trial, it was revealed that Onditi became enraged when Ms. Awino requested her share of Sh500 after he had sold timber from trees located on their shared property in Nyalenda. Onditi was adamant that he solely planted those trees and refused to give her any portion of the money.

Later in the evening, the accused approached Awino while she was engaged in a conversation with a relative. Onditi inquired about the nature of their discussion and then proceeded to assault Awino by striking her right eye with a pair of pliers.

The attack resulted in the removal of Awino’s right eye, and it also caused significant damage to her second eye, leaving her partially blind.

The court considered the testimonies of eight individuals, including the victim’s daughter, as key evidence in the case. All the witnesses provided statements that implicated the suspect in the crime.

Despite initially denying the charges, Onditi, during cross-examination by the prosecution, admitted that he had encountered the victim on the day in question. He admitted that a confrontation occurred between him and the complainant but denied causing grievous harm to her.

The court however ruled that could not absolve himself from the heinous act.

“I have considered the defense of the accused. He stated that he did not commit the offence in question. However, he confirmed that he met the victim on the day in question and that a fight ensued between them. I find the defence by the accused person a mere denial and dismiss it,” Magistrate Rashid ruled.

In mitigation, Onditi appealed to the court for forgiveness, saying he had a young family dependent on him.

“I have considered the defendant’s mitigation. I note that he is a first offender. However, I note the seriousness of the offence and the harm caused to the complainant and sentence the accused person to 10 years’ imprisonment,” the court ruled.

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