The father said he killed his baby son because he cried a lot

The father said he killed his baby son because he cried a lot

Charles Ssekamate has confessed to murdering the toddler, saying he did so because the baby was crying a lot.

Court records indicate that in November 1999, Ssekamate strangled his baby son and dumped the body in a pit latrine.

A resident of Mazzi village, Ssisa sub-county in Entebbe sub-district, Ssekamate had originally been sentenced in 1999 to what used to be a mandatory death sentence by Justice Monica Mugenyi of the High Court.

However, upon mitigation before the same judge and after the Supreme Court had declared the word ?mandatory? in capital offences as unconstitutional, his sentence was converted to 32 years imprisonment recently, considering the circumstances under which he murdered his own son Ronald Kayiwa.

The killer father, represented by Henry Kunya, had appealed against only the custodial sentence of 32 years, arguing that it was manifestly harsh and excessive.

He had also complained that the trial judge had failed to consider that he was a first time offender and did not deserve that sentence.

However, on a two-to-one majority judgment, the court agreed with Principal State Attorney Vicky Nabisenke who supported the trial judge?s substitution of the death penalty to 32 years as appropriate, considering the circumstances under which the appellant committed the offence.

Justices Remmy Kasule and Faith Mwondah upheld the trial court?s decision while Justice Fredrick Egonda-Ntende dissented.

The court exonerated the trial judge of any fault, saying that she had put everything into consideration before reaching that conclusion as she did.

?We are unable, therefore, to find that the sentence of 32 years imprisonment was manifestly harsh and excessive or that it was illegal,? the court ruled as it upheld the judgment.

However, the court agreed with Kunya that the sentence of 32 years should begin from the date the trial court sentenced the appellant, that is from October 2002 and not from 2012 when he mitigated on the sentence as the trial court had ruled.

By Hillary Nsambu, The New Vision

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