A stepfather who is serving a punishment of twenty-six years and six months in prison for defiling his daughter has lost his appeal to overturn the punishment.
The then Masaka High Court judge now retired, Margaret Oguli Oumo sentenced Paul Mugerwa,36, to jail after finding him guilty of aggravated defilement contrary to section 129 (3) and (,1) (a) and (b) of the Penal Code Act.
Being dissatisfied with the punishment of twenty-six years and six months, he appealed reasoning that it was unduly, harsh and excessive.
However, the three justices led by Deputy Chief Justice Richard Buteera dismissed Mugerwa’s appeal on grounds that the trial judge properly exercised her sentencing discretion thus they found no reason to interfere with the sentence she passed.
Other justices are; Catherine Bamugemereire and Eva Luswata.
The justices held that it was evident that the trial Judge in sentencing Mugerwa, she duly considered all the mitigating factors he advanced by the prosecution to which she found that the aggravating factors outweighed the mitigating ones.
“Without any evidence that the trial Judge passed an illegal sentence or that she failed to consider some material factor, there would be no basis for interfering with the sentence she imposed upon the appellant,” the justices held.
Adding, ”In the present case, the victim was 8 years old and was defiled by a stepfather. We have considered that the offence of aggravated defilement carries a maximum sentence of death, yet the appellant herein was sentenced to 26 years and 6 months ‘imprisonment. We find this sentence to be appropriate in the given circumstances.”
It was a prosecution case that Mugerwa in May, 2011 in Bukomansimbi District performed an unlawful sexual act with a girl aged 8 years and at the time he was in a relationship and cohabited with the victim’s mother.
Prosecution further stated that while the victim’s mother was a way to visit her older children in Nyanga village, she left her under the care of Mugerwa who always asked her to join him in his bed where he would have sexual intercourse with her.
It was the state’s case that the act went on for some time until the victim fell sick and Mugerwa bought her some medicine warning her against telling anyone including her mother what he had been doing to her, however the victim revealed to her mother who checked her private parts and she felt pain during the process.
The victim’s mother reported the matter to the Local Council One Chairperson who came to arrest Mugerwa but he had escaped with all his property. However, he was later arrested and taken to Bukomansimbi Police Station.
The victim was examined on Police Form 3A and she was found to be 8 years old, her hymen showed signs of penetration and had been raptured a while back and Mugerwa was found to be of normal mental status and he was charged with aggravated defilement.
Source: Daily Monitor