Meru Law Courts
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Betty Liona John, 21, of Mwangaza, Isiolo County, notified Jackson Kirimi Ikombo that she was not romantically interested in him.

Ikombo, however, disregarded her counsel when she turned him down in March 2021.  His pursuits began to threaten Liona as the days went by.

On a Friday at the end of March, Liona was leaving her lover's house to go to her mother's house when she ran into Ikombo.

He overpowered her and raped her. She, however, did not report the matter to the police.

On December 8, 2021, around 5 o'clock, Liona encountered Ikombo in the Mwangaza 'C' pub. Upon meeting him, Liona screamed that the man had sexually assaulted her.


In the chaos that ensued as he grabbed Liona, she was able to snag a sword from Ikombo's belt, stab him in the chest, and then flee.

Ikombo was sent to the Isiolo County Referral and Teaching Hospital for medical attention, but it was too late and he passed away from his wounds.

At some point, Liona was transported to the Chief's office after being detained by members of the public.

Rearrested and led to Isiolo Police Station by Kula Mawe Police Station officers who had already arrived on the spot.

Ikombo died on December 11, 2021, from significant blood loss caused by piercing wounds to the chest wall, according to a post-mortem examination.

Liona was charged with murder in violation of the law when she was arraigned, but the charge was later lowered to manslaughter after she entered into a plea agreement.

In a plea bargain, the accused and the prosecutor agree to admit guilt to part or all of the accusations brought against them in exchange for the prosecutor making some sort of concession.

While Liona was provoked, the prosecution argued that there were other ways to avoid fatalities and that the stabbing was not necessary.

"Loss of life. It is unfortunate looking at the whole scenario. I pray that the accused (Liona) serves a custodial sentence for her guidance on anger management and how to deal with such scenario," the prosecution concluded.

However, Liona's attorney pleaded with the judge to accept the pre-sentence report "as the truth of what transpired and the circumstances of the said attack" and he asked for a non-custodial sentence for the young Liona, who had already spent a year in detention.

Pre-sentence reports were required by the court, and one was due on May 15, 2023.

The policeman saw that Liona is a young, unmarried mother of one who has no history of criminal activity.

However, according to the letter, Liona's family and the director of the local aid programme acknowledged that because of her alcoholism, she may occasionally get into altercations while inebriated.

"She understands the magnitude of the offence which she alleges she committed while she was under influence of alcohol and uncontrolled anger," the letter added.

Additionally, the court was informed of Liona's excellent support system within her family, which consists of her mother, brother, and two sisters.

Her mother made the suggestion that she would move Liona to her remote residence in Kibiru, Tigania West, where she had relocated to begin her new life.

Liona will get the opportunity to go away from her friends who had a bad impact on her character.

The letter also stated that Ikombo's family disagreed with Liona receiving a non-custodial sentence, claiming that it fell well short of what they expected from the court.

According to the report, Ikombo's mother, who resides in Timau, Buuri subcounty, experienced despair as a result of her son's passing and the imprisonment of her second son, who is currently spending time in prison.

The officer came to the decision that Liona should be placed on probation.

In accordance with a Probation Order, the court may sentence an offender to probation rather than to prison.

"Based on the information provided here in, and the circumstances of the offence and the attitude of the offender, I recommend the offender be committed to serve three years’ Probation Order," the letter reads.

"Our office is committed to come up with suitable treatment plan which will facilitate her rehabilitation and re-integration if placed on non-custodial sentence."

The circumstances surrounding Ikombo's death, according to Judge Edward Muriithi of the High Court in Meru, not only change the crime from murder to manslaughter but also lessen Liona's responsibility.

He continued by saying that the exonerating defence of self-defense would have held up had the killing taken place concurrently with the rape.

The Liona has been held in prison custody for a total of one year and seven months on pre-trial detention as of December 29, 2021, the judge remarked.

The judge gave Liona a two-year prison sentence after taking into account her age, the seriousness of the crime, her character, and her conviction for the manslaughter of Ikombo.

In addition, he mandated that she serve a three-year probationary term beginning on August 16, 2023.

"The sentence of imprisonment for two years commences on December 29,2021, the date when the accused was remanded for trial, and she has, therefore, with remission, already served the imprisonment in full," Juge Muriithi noted.

"There shall, therefore, be an order for the release of the accused to be placed on probation unless she is otherwise lawfully held."

Liona will now serve a probation sentence of three years.