A Court has sentenced a 26-year-old woman found guilty of stealing a one-year-old child in Shauri Yako estate of Homa Bay town.

The accused, Agnes Atieno Anyango, who worked as a house help, has been convicted under section 174 (1) (a) of the Penal Code for stealing her employer’s infant.

A court in Homa Bay determined that on August 2, 2023, Agnes Atieno Anyango stole a one-year-old child and attempted to flee with him while the infant’s mother was away.

The convict was apprehended in Migori County near the Tanzanian border at the Sirare border point, where she was trying to sneak out of the country with the baby.

Homa Bays Principal Magistrate, Joy Wesonga, sentenced the accused to five years in prison.

She observed a rising trend in child theft cases in the country and recommended that suspects should be sentenced to a minimum of five years in prison as a deterrent to individuals with similar intentions.

Magistrate Wesonga further emphasized the importance of setting an example for others by imposing a sentence of at least five years in jail for individuals involved in child theft.

Atieno was allowed to present her defense before the court pronounced her sentence. During her mitigation statement, Atieno claimed that she did not have any intention of stealing the child. She explained that she was taking the child home to get medication.

“I am a parent with children who depend on me. I am the sole breadwinner of my family,” she said.

The accused explained that one of her children was afflicted with sickle cell disease, requiring her immediate care and attention.

Atieno asserted that she has worked as a domestic worker for over 15 years in various locations throughout the country, and has never faced any accusation of wrongdoing.

“I have considered your plea and sentenced you to five years in jail,” Wesonga ruled, noting that the sentencing begins from the day Atieno was arrested.

The court has granted Anyango a 14-day period to lodge an appeal if she wishes to do so.

The boy’s father, Abdul Aziz, welcomed the ruling.

“The court decision will act as an example to people who have similar intention of stealing children. We thank the court for serving us justice,” Aziz said.