Kenya’s appellate court has dealt three men a severe blow after upholding their death sentence. The three men were sentenced to death for stealing 30 pineapples from a farm Thika owned by Del Monte.
The men namely; Julius Mugambi, Edward Mburu and Francis Maina were found guilty after being positively identified before the jury. The three are said to be part of a gang of seven thieves, four having fled.
They have been booked a date with the hangman even though they did not make away with the pineapples worth Sh 1500. A guard dog chased the intruders saving the farm owner’s fruits.
The judge insists that the dog handler issued concrete evidence that aided the judgement. The thieves remained unhurt whilst the dog sustained a deep cut from a machete.
The three were found guilty for threatening the guards with a machete among other offences. They also faced charges of injuring the guard dog.
They first appeared before a magistrate court in 2008 where they were sentenced to death. The appealed to the High Court citing mistakes in identification of the intruders.
The State argued that the sniffer dog positively identified them by way of sniff and sense. The dog handler also gave accounts of the said day of intrusion. The security guard confirmed that each intruder sustained a dog bite.
The court issued a statement on the admissibility of the evidence presented before it.
“The evidence of tracker dogs may be admissible in certain circumstances. A dog handler is competent to testify as to the tracking ability and reliability of the dog,” the judge ruled.
“The dog handler testified that his dog was trained in a manner that when it sensed the presence of intruders, It usually stood on the pineapples…For that reason, it can be safely concluded…that the scent led to the bush where the appellants entered.”
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