Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Be Slower to Judge

The prisoner sat in the dock looking reprehensive. The courtroom was packed mostly friends and relatives of the prisoner. The man a well known businessman and the woman his contemporary in business.

The charges were read to the prisoner as they call them elsewhere, here we call them suspects. “Mr. X you are accused of having carnal knowledge of a woman without her consent. What plea will you take asked the Prosecutor. Mr. X bent down and answered

“Not guilty your honour”

My master (the person that guides you through training) as he was then stood up and said “your Honour I am so and so and I appear for the accused” So sitting there pensively thinking ooh what a slob the accused was and how could he do that. Anyway it was our client and you know I had notes to take. Already the accused in my mind was guilty, that I didn’t have any doubt and the growing feminist would never think anything better than that about a man accused of rape. I was even feeling bad that the law firm I was undertaking pupillage could take on such a matter!! I digress.

The prosecution went on and on to call all the witnesses who all seemed to say nothing. The lady in question was a beautiful lady. Every rape victim I have seen is always next to tears if not already crying. She came and narrated her story the way they spent the night at Solio Ranch the sides of Nanyuki and the prisoner raped her during the night. Never mind they always travelled together. Our court clerk was later to joke that the problem with Solio Ranch which is very vast is that only buffaloes and monkeys could ever tell us what really happened.

The prisoner looked shocked. He wore thick glasses. At some point I thought he was shaking. And worse still the magistrate was a woman!! I tell you guilty as hell is the first verdict a woman gives you. So the prosecution closed its case and unluckily the guy had a case to answer.

It was time for the defence to prepare its case in the face of adversity of its client. Yours truly here spent several hours in the library digging into rape cases and especially where the prisoner had been set free for want of enough evidence. True the buffaloes and monkeys were never going to be there to tell her the story.

As we did the case what emerged was totally shocking and I wondered just how low will people of my species lie down to protect what they have.

This woman always hired the prisoner’s vehicle to transport her wares to be specific potatoes. What turned was a business deal turned sour. So on the alleged night the man accompanied by his nephew and the woman’s car broke down at Solio Ranch and they spent the night together. Nothing happened anyway as three is obviously a crowd. So they fixed the car the following morning and continued with their journey towards Nyeri and slept the night after at some lodging which they had always done minus the nephew that time. It occurred they had numerous sexual encounters in course of their business relations.

It turned out both were married. So the following morning the man and woman (both happy I assume) set out to their village. It is at this point the guy asks the woman at her home “it’s how you still haven’t paid me for transporting your potatoes”.

And the woman said “just pay yourself for sleeping with me”

Unfortunately, the woman’s husband heard. When she realized that he heard their conversation she immediately rose and told the man

“This man raped me”

And they proceed to the police.

Anyhow, what jazzed me out of this saga was that the Magistrate who had already convicted our client as she always did with such accuseds was interrogating a witness of ours who was from the lodging asked

“You are saying the two came together in the hotel”


How did they look when they left in the morning?


He says “ok”

I am asking did they look like they had any sexual relations. You are an adult answer me!

He said he didn’t know.

I had left the firm by when the verdict was out.

In short what I am saying is be slow to judge you never know what the real story is.