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City man to be hanged for dousing wife with kerosene, burning her to death

A husband who doused his wife with kerosene before setting her blaze has been sentenced to death.

Lady Justice Roselyn Korir on Tuesday ordered for Boniface Litunya to be hanged to death after finding him guilty of murdering his wife Winnie Syombua in November 2010.

Mr Litunya had acused his wife of being a heavy alcohol drinker and promiscuous.

In her judgement, Justice Korir said prosecution had proven beyond doubt that Mr Litunya doused his wife with kerosene, before a torching her and then “ throwing her out of their Njiru estate residence within Nairobi while burning.”

“ I believe the testimony of the neighbour who saw the deceased in flames burning after being thrown out of the house she was residing in with her husband,” Justice Korir ruled.

SMOKE AND FIRE

She said earlier the deceased had screamed loudly for help then her sound faded as she got engulfed in smoke and fire.

Mr Litunya gave a contradictory statement of defence which the court said “could not shield him from blame.”

Quoting the testimony of the neighbour the judge said; “ the next door neighbour of the accused told this court that the deceased and her husband used to have frequent domestic rows and fights erupted spontaneously.”

On the fateful day,  Mr Litunya had accused his wife  of engaging in heavy drinking with male friends and “ returning home late in the night.”

In his defence, the accused said that when he returned home that night he found his wife burning in the face, but later changed his story to say that his wife threw a stove at him and he threw it back to her before it exploded on her.

CONCEALING GUILT

The judge said the change of statement was aimed “ at concealing his guilt and malice aforethought.”

“ I find that the prosecution has established beyond reasonable doubt that it is the accused who caused the death of his wife and the court convicts him accordingly,” the judge ruled.

In his mitigation , the accused said he was a first offender and urged the judge to consider the seven years he has spent in prison remand.

“ I am remorseful and regret my actions,” Mr Litunya mitigated.

In her judgement Justice Korir said; “ a precious life was cut short by the accused who had not respect for the deceased at all.”

Mr Litunya was given14 days to appeal against the sentence and conviction.