A young man left Eldoret court litigants in stitches after he confessed he stole a ‘mulika mwizi’ phone so that he could sell it to “help quell hunger pangs”.
Julius Kiragu, 20, appeared before the Eldoret Chief Magistrate’s court where he pleaded guilty to the stealing charge then mitigated that biting hunger pushed him to commit the offence.
The Langas slum dweller was accused of walking into a classroom at Langas primary school on the February 28 when a teacher, Lilian Kirwa, stepped out and made away with her phone.
“The accused made towards the desk of the complainant (Lilian) when he realised that no one was manning it, picked a phone inside the desk and hid it in his trouser pocket before he took off.
“When the complainant returned to her desk she noticed her phone was missing. She inquired from her pupils who informed her that they had seen Kiragu marauding around her desk before he disappeared,” reads prosecution charge sheet.
The prosecution further submitted that Kiragu was positively identified by the school’s pupils in an identification parade mounted at Langas Police Station during investigations.
Immediately the court clerk read out the charge particulars, Kiragu shot up his right arm to pronounce the charge and subsequent charge-particulars to be correct to the letter.
“Ni mimi nilifanya hayo madhambi mheshimiwa (I committed the sin, your honour),” he said leaving court litigants wondering whether he had rehearsed for his appearance in the dock.
It is then that the court ruled he had a case to answer and inquired if he had any mitigation to make before sentencing.
“Your honour I stole the phone because I was hungry. I ran to a neighbouring shop to sell it, but the shopkeeper declined the offer.
He said he had no cash to pay then we settled for a trade-in arrangement where I give him the phone as he supplies me with two loaves of bread and a half-litre bottle of soda for a week. I have no previous crime record and promise not to repeat the offense,” he pleaded.
“What exact make was the phone and is the food (bread and soda) still in your house?” The court inquired.
“It was a new Samsung phone which had a torch, the deal involved me passing by the shop daily to take the two loaves and soda for the agreed seven days.
I ask the court to understand my situation. I just stole the phone because I could not afford food, your honour,” said Kiragu.
The court directed the probation department to make a social evaluation report within seven days concerning the accused before a rightful sentence is meted.
He was directed to remain in police custody until the report was ready.