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Panic in court as convict turns violent

There was panic and confusion at the Milimani law courts on Wednesday after a death row convict went berserk destroying court property after his appeal challenging his sentence was dismissed.

Mr John Mwangi, who seemed to have fainted after the dismissal of his appeal, was being carried out of the dock by court orderlies when he sprang out shouting.

The convict, who was handcuffed,  outmaneuvered the prison and police officers who were not armed during the incident.

According to some of the officers, the convict ripped off some communication gadget installed in the court room and threatening to hurl it to whoever attempted to get close to him.

He is also said to have smashed a television monitor mounted on a wall at the courtroom before turning the court clerk’s table upside down and throwing away piles of the court files.

He then left the courtroom,  shouting as he paced along the corridors before he being subdued and carried to the cells.

Majority of court orderlies are not armed inside the courtroom making them vulnerable to such incidents.

Mr Mwangi was convicted by a magistrate’s court which found him guilty of robbing a person his money, identity card, ATM and a mobile phone.

The judges who heard the appeal said the trial court was correct in sentencing the accused.

Ms Lady Justice Florence Muchemi, who read the judgment, had already left the court room before the commotion started.

Head of police prosecutions at the court senior superintendent Brigid Kanyahi confirmed the incident saying police were investigating it.