An Embu herdsman will serve 14 months in jail or pay a fine of Ksh. 20,000 for stealing banana and sugarcane stalks both valued at Ksh.4,500. The 29-year-old Martin Gitonga Wanja who appeared before Senior Residents Magistrate Tony Kwambai on Friday pleaded guilty to the charges.
Martin Gitonga Wanja is charged that, on October 7 this year at Kavigaci village in Embu North sub county, he stole banana stalks worth 2,000 and sugarcane stalks worth 2,500 from the property of one Elizabeth Njeri. He also faced a second count of escaping from lawful custody at Kairuri Police Post the next day at around 5pm.
The court heard that on the material day, the accused was spotted in the complainer’s shamba and was harvesting banana and sugarcane. She raised the alarm and he was arrested but as officers were processing his fingerprints on October 8, he apparently managed to escape. Later he was found hiding inside a tea plantation within the area.
The accused later told the court that he had gone to the shamba to get something to eat as he was hungry.
The magistrate however ruled that on Count One, he should pay a fine of Ksh. 5,000 or serve six months in jail. For the second count, the accused is to pay a fine of Ksh. 15,000 or serve eight months in jail if he defaults.