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Woman acquitted of charges of killing boy, 3, with ‘muratina’

A mother of one shed tears of joy after she was cleared of charges of killing her neighbour’s son, by giving her a traditional brew laced with methanol.

Lucy Nduta Mwangi alias Caro, could not hold back tears after Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit, said the prosecution had failed to conclusively table evidence proving that the accused person was the one who gave the minor the brew known as muratina.

Ms Mwangi was charged with the murder of Peter Kimani, a three-and-a-half-year-old boy, an offence she allegedly committed on February 22, 2015 in Kosovo area of Mathare Estate.

Evidence tabled in court show that the boy went out to play with his friends on the fateful day. And when he returned home later in the afternoon, he complained of stomachache.

He was taken to a nearby dispensary where he was treated and discharged. In the evening, his condition worsened and was rushed to Kiambu Hospital, where doctors tried resuscitating him in vain.

MURATINA

The boy’s mother and grandmother told the court that the minor kept telling them that Caro (the accused person), offered her Muratina to drink.

In her defence, Ms Mwangi denied giving the boy the drink and instead claimed that she had bought the brew for her son, who was ailing from chicken pox.

She claimed that another neighbour informed her that the drink would cure the ailment. She said she poured some of it in a basin and went looking for her son, who was playing with other children.

Ms Mwangi said she returned to find the drink missing and the child playing with the basin.

CONVICTION

In the judgment, Justice Lesiit said the prosecution had failed to discharge the burden of proof by tabling evidence showing that it only Ms Mwangi and no one else, who gave the child the lethal drink.

“The standard of proof for circumstantial evidence is that the circumstance provided must point irresistibly that the accused person and no one else gave the lethal substance to the deceased,” she said.

She said the evidence adduced in court was shaky and cannot lead to the conviction of the accused person. She ruled that she was giving Ms Mwangi the benefit of doubt and acquitted her.

Ms Mwangi had told the court that she had developed ulcers, high blood pressure and depression while in custody. She said she was happy to reunite with her child and family.