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Police constable sentenced to death for robbery

A police officer has been handed the death penalty for a robbery he still denies he committed in Nairobi’s Industrial area.

Constable Gilbert Ingosi Chemosi was convicted and sentenced to hang at the Chief magistrate’s court in Milimani on Thursday.

He was accused of robbing Mr  Chrispine Otieno Odongo of  Sh 90,000 on June 25, 2012 along Bandari road shortly after the latter withdrew the money from a bank.

A second suspect in the case, Mr George Kamau Ndogo, a civilan, was however acquitted after chief magistrate Hannah Ndung’u ruled that there was no direct evidence linking him to the offence.

Mr Ndogo has a separate pending judgment in a case in which he is charged with robbery alongside three other police officers.

The chief magistrate, in her ruling, said that despite an alibi Mr Ingosi gave which was supported by his colleague who he had been assigned with guard duties at a nearby bank where the robbery was committed, “he had all the opportunity to leave his work station and commit the offence and return back to work.”

HANDCUFF

A search at his house at the Makongeni police station, the magistrate observed, yielded an unserviceable handcuff which “ he explained away as having belonged to another police officer who occupied the house before him.”

Mr Ingosi  had also been charged with refusing to have his fingerprints taken during investigations, but on Thursday, the magistrate dropped the charge  for lack of evidence.

She said she would focus on the charge of robbery in which the complainant identified his assailant positively as he attacked him while dressed in his uniform.

Mr Ndogo, she said, had been arrested by members of the public on  a separate day and was only identified as the co-driver of the getaway vehicle in which Mr Otieno had been pushed into when he was attacked.

The magistrate said the robbery victim had no opportunity to identify Mr Ndogo and gave “him the benefit of doubt”, although she said she suspected that he may have been involved in the incident.

“Mr John Shegu, the investigating officer, on May 24 also told the court that while acting on a tip off he managed to arrest the second accused at  Cooperative Bank along Nanyuki Road,” the magistrate said.

She said that on the other hand Mr Ingosi was in full uniform when “ he sprung at the complainant and  held him by the neck before pushing him into a waiting vehicle which later drove off .”

IDENTIFIED

“He saw the AK 47  rifle which had been assigned to the police officer for his guard duties and identified the person who robbed him,” the magistrate said.

She said that during his testimony, the complainant  had a  “firm resolve and was sure that the police officer was involved in the robbery.”

“He was told to return to the scene which was in the vicinity where the police officer had been stationed to work and saw him again,” the magistrate said.

She said the complainant later picked out his assailant  in a police identification parade.