Student responsible for 2017 Moi Girls fire handed 5 years in prison

The student was found guilty of manslaughter and not murder thereby reducing her sentence

Moi Girls High School Nairobi

Family and friends to 10 girls who lost their lives in a 2017 Moi girls dormitory fire have received justice after the student responsible for the fire was sentenced to five years in prison.

High Court judge Stella Mutuku, in her ruling, sentenced the 18-year-old to five years in prison for manslaughter.

Justice Mutuku noted that despite the girl having been a minor, she had to be held accountable since the offences she committed are serious.

The judge, however, dismissed calls by some of the victims’ kin who claimed the sentence was light, noting that no amount of punishment would have brought the children back.

“We are happy that the judgement has been delivered though very lenient. We expected something much stronger than that but the judgement has been delivered," William Ogolla a grandparent to a victim said.

Calls by the defendant to have a non-custodial sentence were ruled out by the judge who said the offence was too serious to have a non-custodial sentence imposed.

Her sentence will be counted from December 2021 when she was found guilty of the offence.

In December 2021 during the conviction of the student, Justice Mutuku concluded that the former Moi girls student did not intend to kill anyone in the incident but wanted to force a school transfer.

“To me, it seems like an action borne out of a desperate attempt to make her be transferred from this school by any means. Her aim may have been just to cause a fire and burn the building without hurting anyone but it was ill-intentioned given that the building had two floors, ground and first. There were going to be casualties as a result of this fire,” the judge said.

Justice Mutuku said that the prosecution proved beyond doubt that the student killed her colleagues but intentionally, therefore substituting the murder charge for manslaughter.

“I find the offence of manslaughter proved beyond a reasonable doubt in all the 10 counts; I consequently find her guilty of an unlawful act of causing the death of the 10 victims all-inclusive,” she ruled.

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