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Man gets 3 months’ jail term for abusive SMS to wife

A man has been jailed for three months for sending an abusive text message to his wife. Meru Chief Magistrate Evans Makori sentenced Moses Muriungi, 41, to jail with an alternative of paying a Sh5,000 fine.

Muriungi’s wife, Ms Lydia Nkatha, refused to forgive her husband and instead pleaded with the magistrate to jail him. Muriungi, who has been married to Ms Nkatha for 20 years, sent the text after she refused to answer his call.

“Yes your honor, I am his wife but he has disturbed me for a long time. Two years ago, he burnt all my clothes. He sent me abusive text messages whenever I refused to pick up his phone calls. Even when I am busy, he does not understand. That why I now want him jailed,” Ms Nkatha told the court.

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Mr Makori had asked her if she wanted the court to free her husband or jail him. The magistrate had earlier asked for a probation report before ruling on the case. The report tabled in court on Monday showed that Muriungi was unsuitable for a non-custodial sentence.

“He never supports his children and any time he is drunk, he causes malicious damage to family property,” said probation officer Eusebio Mwangi.

However, in  mitigation, Muriungi told the magistrate he was remorseful and that their children would have nobody to educate them if he was jailed.

The magistrate admitted that he was “tied” and in a dilemma to jail a man who in mitigation said his children were likely to suffer. But he said following the probation report presented in court he had no other alternative than to jail him.