Esther Arunga's ex-hubby Quincy Timberlake sentenced to 11 years for son's murder

Piece by: BBC NEWS

•Three-year-old Sinclair died on his father's bedroom floor in Brisbane, Australia, in June 2014.

Quincy Timberlake and his wife Esther Arunga in an old photo

Controversial singer Quincy Wambitta Timberlake was on Friday sentenced to 11 years in Australia following his plea of guilty to manslaughter charges over the death of his son in 2014.

Three-year-old Sinclair died on his father's bedroom floor in Brisbane, Australia, in June 2014.

Timberlake had pleaded guilty last month after he entered into a plea agreement with the prosecution, for a lesser sentence.

Justice Paul Freeburn jailed him on Friday over the “brutal and incomprehensible” death of his son.

Timberlake became popular in Kenya after marrying former TV queen Esther Arunga in 2010. They are now separated.

In 2012, he announced he would run for president through his newly formed PlaCenta Party (Platinum Centraliser and Unionist Party of Kenya).

He did not make it to the ballot. 

On Friday, the court heard that after finding his son apparently fallen at the bottom of the stairs, Timberlake started saying that the devil was in the house, according to the Guardian.

The now 43-year-old grabbed a Bible from his bedroom, saying he was going to slap the devil, Justice Paul Freeburn said in sentencing Timberlake over the “brutal and incomprehensible” death.

Arunga assumed her husband was going downstairs but heard her son yelling and thuds from behind the bathroom door when she got out of the shower.

When the door opened, the boy seemed to be in pain and doubled over.

The court heard Timberlake struck him forcefully in the stomach, causing him to stumble, then said: “There’s a devil in his stomach, I’m hitting the demon out of his stomach.”

When Sinclair started to go towards his mother, Timberlake in a rage threw the child against the wall.

After the boy fell to the ground, Timberlake told his wife, “the devil has gone now”, before rambling about beating the demon and removing it from Sinclair’s stomach.

Emergency services found Sinclair’s body on the bedroom floor.

The couple omitted to tell authorities about what occurred in the bathroom but Timberlake was secretly recorded in the morgue making biblical references while repeatedly apologising for failing Sinclair.

Weeks after the death, Esther Timberlake – who was immediately released on parole after pleading guilty in 2019 to being an accessory to her son’s manslaughter – told police about the attack, saying her husband was experiencing delusions.

After being forced to live on the streets and subjected to abuse as a child, Timberlake obtained a chemical engineering degree before meeting Esther, who had returned to Kenya after being admitted to the legal profession in Australia.

Timberlake was arrested and jailed in Kenya, having announced his intention to run for president after the couple formed the PlaCenta party.

He reported being badly beaten and tortured by police and a militia group. The charges were dismissed but the couple left the country, as they were vilified and persecuted, and eventually settled in Australia.

Timberlake, who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, was sentenced on the basis he punched his son intending to cause grievous bodily harm but that at the time he was of diminished responsibility.

“That is, at the time of doing the act which caused Sinclair’s death, you were in such a state of abnormality of mind as substantially to impair your capacity to know that you ought not to do the act,” Freeburn said.

Freeburn declared Timberlake to be eligible for immediate parole after serving more than nine years in custody.

“The release of Mr Timberlake is now a matter for the parole board,” he said.

Timberlake’s immigration status means he will be immediately liable for either deportation or detention for an indefinite period.