A woman and three of her accomplices, were on Thursday, January 21 found guilty of killing her eight year-old step-daughter and sentenced to death by hanging.
Elenah Nyambura (pictured at Milimani law courts, Kenya with her accomplice) was charged with committing the offence at Civil Servants Estate in Kariobangi, with Peris Njeri, Geoffrey Njuguna and Kenneth Muriithi.
The court heard that Nyambura murdered Sheilah Wanjiku to win back her estranged husband Peter Kamau. The four had confessed to killing Wanjiku but later objected to the admissions, saying they had been coerced and threatened into signing statements prepared in advance.
While passing the sentence, Justice Fred Ochieng said the fact Wanjiku was stabbed in her neck and as the wounds were penetrative, there was no doubt the attacker intended to either kill or cause grievous harm.
“It did not matter who dealt the killer blow as each of them played a role which contributed to the success of the heinous act. Elenah Nyambura conceived the idea to eliminate Wanjiku. She enlisted the help of her own brother, Geoffrey Njuguna whose role was to identify and recruit the killers. Peris Njeri would point out the house to the killers,” Ochieng said.
The judge said the retracted confessions were very detailed and could only be provided by persons involved, hence concluding the accused acted in concert.
“I find each and every one of the four accused persons guilty of the murder of Sheila Wanjiku. They are therefore, hereby convicted for the offence of murder,” he said.
In her confession, Nyambura said she felt her husband loved Wanjiku more than he loved her son and thought if the girl was killed, Kamau would return to her. Nyambura was also unhappy because Kamau had married their former employee who was Wanjiku’s mother – Eunice Nyawira – and decided to get rid of them both.
But according to Nyawira, there was nothing to suggest animosity between them as Nyambura’s son would visit on weekends.
The court heard that on the fateful day, the accused persons visited Nyawira’s house and stabbed the housegirl and the child, but the help lived to testify in the case. Wanjiku was stabbed ten times; six on the right side of her neck and four times on the left.
A postmortem revealed the stab wounds severed blood vessels in her neck. She died of severe bleeding. Investigating officer Sergeant Catherine Kinoti said Njeri coordinated the planning and execution of the child because Nyambura could not leave her place of work.
Kinoti testified that Nyambura made Sh80,000 available to Njeri, which she then paid to the persons who killed Wanjiku. During cross-examination, Kamau said after arrest, Nyambura confessed to him that she had been involved in the killing.
She allegedly blamed the devil for persuading her to pay people to kill Wanjiku.
Source: The Star Kenya