A Siaya Court has handed a 1-day non-custodial sentence to a 49-year-old woman who killed her husband in a domestic row gone awry.
While delivering the judgement, Judge Roselyne Aburili of the High Court in Siaya noted that the accused-Truphena Aswani- had suffered immensely at the hands of her abusive husband who constantly threatened to kill her over a Title Deed.
According to Judge Aburili, Ms Aswani would be remembered as a butchered, battered, dehumanized and violated woman who had no voice and who persevered through the domestic violence meted on her by her late husband who was described as irresponsible and violent.
The court heard that the deceased had previously parted ways with his two other wives who had also borne a similar tale of violence and abuse.
His four children from the two marriages had been left under the care of the accused.
In the lead up to the fatal encounter with her late husband, the court heard that the accused had at one time been admitted to hospital after she was violently abused and battered during an argument.
On the fateful day, the court heard that the deceased- James Oyengo Obochi- returned home drunk and in a fit of rage.
He demanded to be handed the Title Deed of a piece of land that had been bequeathed to his wife by his late father.
When none was forthcoming, he dashed to their bedroom and emerged with a panga and attempted to hack the accused.
In an act of self-defence, Ms Aswani told the court she seized the panga, cut the deceased severally.
According to the court papers, the accused pulled the deceased’s body and took it to a neighbour’s farm- some 200 metres away and covered it with grass before returning to her house.
She would later be arrested after confessing to the murder on December 15, 2020.
“Ni ukweli Nilimuua lakini si kupanga kumuua marehemu,” she told the court.
While delivering the ruling on Wednesday, Judge Aburili said the accused deserved a non-custodial sentence to enable her get counselling for the traumatic experience that she underwent prior to, during and after the unfortunate demise of her husband whom she loved and stuck with despite his HIV status, yet she was HIV negative.
Further, the judge explained that the accused fosters the deceased’s children whose mothers left him due to his violence, and therefore she does not deserve to be punished harshly as she was a victim of torturous domestic and gender based violence
The judge explained that her ruling would also enable others who have suffered similar fate to have their voices heard.
She also encouraged women to report to any law enforcement agency or to the many Non-governmental organizations of similar incidences.
The court also directed the probation officer to assist the accused in reaching a safer place-other than her matrimonial home- after serving her sentence.
Additionally, the probabation officer was ordered to ensure the woman gets adequate counselling to help her deal with the traumatic experience she underwent with her late husband.