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Two jailed for a month for failing to settle Sh130 hotel bill

Two men have been jailed for one month each for failing to pay sh130 bill after eating meat stew at a hotel in Mombasa.

Senior Resident Magistrate Edgar Kagoni, in her sentence, said the suspects deserved a harsh sentence to act a deterrent to others with a similar tendency.

“The law permits me to hand you a maximum sentence that is commensurate with the offence you have been charged with, such behaviour needs to be discouraged,” he said.

The magistrate noted that it was improper for the suspects to walk into somebody’s business premise, eat and walk away without paying for services offered.

“ The suspects to serve one month imprisonment upon default to pay a fine of Sh5000,” he said.


State Counsel Lilian Fundi asked the court to treat the suspects as first offenders.

“ The suspects are first offenders , I do not have their previous criminal records,” she said.

Peter John and Martin Mwangi were charged with creating disturbance in a manner likely to breach peace by threatening to stab Vincent Mulwa, a waiter, with a knife.

The prosecution said the suspect committed the offence in Makande area on May 11.

In his defence, Mr Mwangi told the court he was sorry for the misbehaviour, claiming he was drunk.

“I didn’t know what I was doing since I was drunk. I ask the court to forgive me so that I can go and pay for the food,” Mr Mwangi said.

This prompted the magistrate to ask him whether drunk people are exempted from paying hotel bills.

“Does it mean that when you are drunk you eat other people’s foods for free? the magistrate asked.

The court heard that on the material day, the complainant was in his food kiosk when the two customers came to his shop and ordered for meat stew worth Sh130.


As he was going to serve them, one of the accused told him to add them more soup.

Later, the two requested for  pepper. However, the complainant was busy in the kitchen so he asked them to pick by themselves on the table.

“The suspects then stood up and started abusing the complainant threatening to dismantle his skull using a knife,” Ms Fundi said

She said the suspects rose to their feet and went to the kitchen, grabbed a kitchen knife from the complainant and threatened to stab him.

The suspects also threatened to stone the complainant should he refuse to give them the green pepper, but they were barred by customers who came to the rescue of the complainant.