A Kitui man who chopped off his neighbour's index finger on allegations that he was a witch has been handed a reduced sentence after an appeal.
His 20-year jail term has been reduced to 10.
Joshua Mutinda was sentenced to 20 years in jail after the trial court found him guilty of causing grievous harm to Joseph Musya in 2019.
Being aggrieved by the sentence, Mutinda appealed.
In a judgment delivered on October 17, justice Robert Limo ruled that he had considered the mitigation of Mutinda and factored in his remorsefulness and the fact that he was a first offender.
The court further noted that the complainant suffered permanent injuries.
The court also found that Mutinda’s offer to compensate the victim was a good gesture, showing remorsefulness and need for reconciliation.
"It is on that ground, that while I am minded to uphold the conviction, the sentence of 20 years imprisonment is hereby reduced to 10 years and in addition, the appellant shall pay compensation of Sh50,000 to the complainant,” the judge ruled.
The judge added that in default of the said compensation, the appellant will serve an extra five years in prison which cumulatively will be 15 years’ imprisonment.
It was the prosecution’s case that on April 19, 2018, at around 9 am Musya found Mutinda grazing his cows on his crops at his farm.
When Musya inquired why he was damaging his crops, Mutinda attacked him with a panga chopping off his index finger and injuring the ring finger.
The severed finger was produced in court as an exhibit.
The evidence of the complainant was corroborated by Isabella Nyambura, his wife.
Nyambura said Mutinda threatened to kill both of them accusing them of witchcraft. He claimed that they (complainant and his wife) were responsible for the death of his sister.
The medical evidence tendered by Ruth Mutinda, a clinical officer at Mutomo hospital corroborated the evidence tendered in court that the complainant had had his left finger chopped off.
In his defence, Mutinda conceded that he had chopped off the index finger of Musya using a panga. He, however, defended himself saying that he was trying to fend off an attack by the complainant.