The initial 50-year sentence handed to Ben Omollo, Patrick Ecudo, and Gabriel Elomunait for raping a nursing student at Jinja School of Nursing and Midwifery in 2010 has been reduced to 30 years by the Court of Appeal. The court, consisting of Lady Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, Christopher Gashirabake, and Oscar Kihika, deemed the original sentence excessive.
The incident occurred on March 14th, 2010, during a traditional marriage ceremony in Kaler village, Mukura sub-county, Ngora District. The victim, A.S., was raped by the three men who had initially refused money in exchange for leaving her alone. They held her captive, forcing her to join them at a drinking joint before she managed to escape and report the incident to the police.
The Court of Appeal acknowledged the appellants’ identification at the police parade but found the evidence of rape compelling. Additionally, it criticized the High Court Judge for not considering the appellants’ status as first-time offenders and their youth, suggesting they had the potential for reform.
The justices pointed out that Gabriel, one of the convicts, is living with HIV in prison, emphasizing the harshness of the original sentence and stating that there was no evidence proving the transmission of HIV to the victim. Consequently, the court concluded that the punishment was excessive and called for a reduction to 30 years.