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DPP wants accused drug trafficker handed life sentence

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko on Thursday urged a Nairobi court to hand down a life sentence to a repeat offender arrested trafficking 300kg of bhang (cannabis sativa) with a street value of Sh600,000 eight years ago.

The counsel submitted that a harsh custodial sentence was the only method to send a strong message to the accused Julius Oluoch Benard and other hardcore traffickers.

“I urge this court to send a message to traffickers locally and internationally that the society needs to be protected,” a state counsel Duncan Ondimu representing the DPP submitted to the presiding magistrate Ms Lucy Mbugua.

Mr Ondimu asked the court to take judicial notice the damage caused to the youth of this nation and beyond by drug consumption.

“The character of the accused is that which the public will not accept and it will be difficult for him to be absorbed back into the community. He should be kept away for life,” Mr Ondimu urged.

Mr Ondimu said Benard, a father of four, had other drug related cases filed against him in Kisumu, Homa Bay and Nairobi.

PLEADED FOR LENIENCY

Besides the life term, Mr Ondimu further urged the court to order the vehicle which Benard used to traffic the drug to be impounded by the state.

Benard was convicted last week for the offense of trafficking the narcotic drug in a white Toyota Carine (registration number KAT 134K).

He was arrested by anti-narcotic police at Race Course estate Nairobi County on July 17, 2007.

Mr Ondimu urged the magistrate to not consider the eight years the convict has spent in custody while sentencing him.

“The accused has taken the court through a lengthy trial while he knew what he did was unlawful yet he is not remorseful,” the prosecution submitted.

In mitigation, the accused pleaded for leniency saying he is father of four and the sole bread winner for his family.

“While I was in jail my wife travelled to the Middle East in search of employment but she didn’t succeed. Now all my children cannot get secondary school education,”Benard pleaded.

Ms Mbugua ordered that a probation officers report be availed to her by March 12, 2015 to enable her make a ruling.