The High Court has released a tailor who had been sentenced to serve 30 years in jail for allegedly stealing a 2GB memory card using an AK 47 gun.

Dennis Kiprotich is now a free man after serving two years in jail after Justice Abida Ali Aroni found that the evidence by the state against him was wanting.

The irony of the case is the worth of the item allegedly stolen by Kiprotich who is said to have robbed the memory card with a gang which had an AK 47, pangas and iron bars.

Justice Aroni heard that the card is worth Sh 200.

In the end, I find that sufficient doubt has been created in the court’s mind that the identification of the appellant was not watertight. I resolve that doubt in the appellant’s favour. I quash the conviction, set aside the sentence.

The particulars of the charges were that on June 30, 2017 at Chapkurkur Village of Kopsiro Division, Bungoma County jointly with others who were not before the court he robbed Sarah Chebet Ngeiywo a memory card 2GB, worth Sh 200

And during the robbery, he is said to have killed her nephew namely Moses Kimutai Sangula.

To nail Kiprotich, the State called 12 witnesses to support its case.

The first witness was Chebet.  She recalled that on the fateful day she Chepkurkur with her husband, Dennis Naibei who was prosecution second witness and child, at about 8.30 p.m.

AK 47 rifle

The court was told that she heard people running outside their house shouting ‘kamata’ (catch catch).  A person by name Dennis (Denno) called Naibei to go out and he did.  After about 3 minutes, there was gun fire and people started knocking on doors.  They knocked on her door and broke into the house and entered.  Her D-light Solar Lamp was on and she saw three people enter.  She knew 2 of them.

Chebet  said she also recognized their voices; that one was Jetli’s brother to Chebarkach also known as Ngeiywo (accused) who wore a black coat and had a long rifle; that she had known them since she got married in the area, for about a year.

The court heard that Jetli had a dispute with Naibei over a girl and used to play pool at the market and the other was Denno, who was a tailor and he wore a red long jacket; that the men demanded that she produce her husband; they put the gun to her neck, slapped her and that Ngaywo tore her inner cloths and raped her.

She testified that they shot in the air, took the memory card.

Naibei took the witness stand as a second witness. He testified that he was in his house with Chebet as they listened to the radio when he heard people running outside and a neighbor by name Alex called him and asked him to join them find out what some three strangers wanted.

They followed the three people with Alex and Moses and when they reached a corner, the three people sprayed them with bullets and they went to sleep in the maize field that night.

Justice Abida Ali Aroni

When he went home next day, he found a neighbour’s cow had been shot. He claimed that Chebet  informed him she had been raped and had identified Ngaiywo and Dennis.

In his defence, Kiprotich stated that he was a tailor by profession and used to teach at the Polytechnic at Kipkikei.

He told the court that left his place of business on June 20,2017, went back to his family at Kapsakwon where he stayed for nine days.

According to the man, he got a job at Kapsakwon SDA Church which he did until the following day, he had looked for maize for his family and stayed at the trading centre till 8.00 p.m. when he retired home and slept by 9.00 p.m.

He was arrested while buying fabric in Kitale.

Kiprotich denied raping Chebet and killing her brother.

His wife also testified in his favour saying he did not leave home on the robbery day.

The State did not call Joshua Kibet who was said to be a star witness in the case.

“In this case, the court has found that the evidence on identification to be weak.  The defence had wanted Joshua Kibet to be witness called as a witness.  He was initially listed a prosecution witness.  The question is why the State was reluctant to call him and the failure to

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