Judge pardons couple for stealing wheat flour, raises money in court to buy them food

Senior Principal Magistrate of the Mombasa law courts, Kenya, Vincent Adet has pardoned a woman who was charged alongside her husband for stealing a bale of wheat flour and also raised money to buy food items for the couple.

The couple, Saumu Ali and Evans Odhiambo, were accused of stealing the flour worth Ksh.1,980 (130ghc) from Grain Industries Ltd on April 13 at Shimanzi area in Mvita, contrary to section 268 (1) as read with section 275 of the penal code.

The couple pleaded guilty to the charges in April, telling the court that they stole the wheat flour to feed their children after they had gone without food for several days.

Ali said she was working her regular part-time jobs when her husband summoned her to assist him in carrying a bale of flour from a nearby car.

She pleaded that she only stole to feed her kids and begged for leniency, swearing never to steal again.

Odhiambo, for his part, claimed to be a scrap metal dealer who had lost his job as a result of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s scrap metal ban. He admitted that in order to feed his children, he had to steal food.

Principal Magistrate Vincent Adet pardoned the accused on Wednesday, May 11, after considering the probation report presented before his court by the probation officer.

“On humanitarian grounds, especially for the first accused person, I have considered the circumstances under which the offence was committed and I sympathize with her situation, with three kids under her care and no source of income and am of the view that let buy her a bale of wheat flour and some meat for today,” K24 TV quoted Adet as having said.

The judge also encouraged members of the public, journalists, and court officials in attendance to donate any amount to Saumu’s food fund, and kicked off the drive by donating Ksh.1000. (65ghc)

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