High Court judges gave Mr Maina the benefit of the doubt. They said that the sister and the father could have fabricated the charges after Mr Maina found them being intimate and threatened to tell his mother.
A man on Tuesday escaped life imprisonment after he was acquitted of violently robbing his sister of a mobile phone.
Mr James Gikonyo Maina could have been framed by his sister, Ms Esther Wanjiru Maina, whom he allegedly found in a compromising position with her father three years ago, the court ruled.
High Court judges Mbogholi Msagha and Lydia Achode acquitted the 27-year-old man, who had been convicted by a magistrate. The judges said it was Wanjiru’s word against her brother and both could be telling the truth.
They gave Mr Maina the benefit of the doubt. They said that the sister and the father could have fabricated the charges after Mr Maina found them being intimate and threatened to tell his mother.
“Having carefully evaluated the evidence afresh and considered the grounds of appeal, we find that the defence case is just as strong as that of the prosecution. Either side could be telling the truth and in such circumstances, we give the benefit of the doubt to James. We quash the conviction,” ruled Justices Achode and Msagha.
Mr Maina arrived home on January 13, 2011 at about 8.30p.m. and found his sister talking to their mother on phone. He asked the sister to speak to the mother too.
Ms Wanjiru did not have airtime and sent a text to their mother to call back. She claimed that as they waited for the mother to respond, Mr Maina pulled out a knife and threatened her with it. She said that he grabbed the phone and left.
Ms Wanjiru said she screamed and a neighbour, Ms Elizabeth Njeri Mungai, rushed over.
When he was brought to court, magistrate Charity Oluoch dismissed Mr Maina’s defence and found him guilty on December 9, 2011.
Justices Achode and Msagha said there was only one witness and the knife that was allegedly used to commit the crime was not produced in court.