A mother in Hoima District has asked Court to release a man accused of defiling her seven year-old-daughter about five years ago.
Ms Lucy Aliganyira was asked by Justice Alexandra Rugadya Nkonge to give her opinion before a sentence is handed to Justus Monday who was on Thursday convicted for aggravated defilement.
Monday ,38, changed his plea in the middle of his trial by instructing his lawyer Peter Kobwemi to ask court to re-read his charges at a time when the prosecution was about to conclude its case.
He had initially pleaded not guilty two weeks ago at the start of the ongoing criminal session.
Court heard that on the night of November 11, 2012 while at Kizirafumbi trading centre in Kizirafumbi Sub-county, Hoima District, Monday who worked as a casual labourer at the home of David Busobozi, defiled the seven year-old girl.
At that time, according to prosecution, Monday capitalised on the drunkenness of the victim’s father as the mother was away in hospital for medication. The father only suspected foul play when the daughter failed to walk in the morning.
Mr Robert Arinaitwe, the state prosecutor asked court to protect the girl child from more harm by handing a 10-year custodial sentence to the convict because he had pleaded guilty and also being a first offender.
Defence lawyer Peter Kobwemi asked for a seven-year imprisonment including the four years and five months he has spent on remand. Mr Kobwemi told court that his client has been diagnosed with tuberculosis and was also operated on for hernia while on remand.
It is at this point that the presiding judge asked the victim’s mother to give court her opinion.
Ms Aliganyira told court that she has already forgiven Monday and asked court to consider the remand period as his punishment. She however, said the convict will not be allowed back in her home to continue with his casual work. She informed court that her daughter has since healed from the wounds and trauma and is back in school where she is doing well.
When asked, the victim who is aged 12 now told court she would concur with her mother’s opinion.
Justice Alexandra Rugadya Ngonge adjourned the matter to April 19 when she will sentence the convict.
Meanwhile, the same judge will sentence on the same day, Moses Aganyira who pleaded guilty to aggravated defilement of a 12-year-old girl in Kyamasuka village, Bugambe sub county in Hoima district.
Court heard that on July, 6, 2014 Aganyira, who was then in his senior six vacation, defiled the girl whom he had asked to deliver a hammer to his house in the neighbourhood.
Aggravated defilement represents 24 of the 40 cases on the cause list for the ongoing criminal session in Hoima district.
Aggravated defilement carries a maximum sentence of death but a presiding judge could hand a custodial punishment according to the sentencing guidelines. Such a decision is based on the circumstances during the trial that include the remand period and remorsefulness of the convict.