A wife says her spiritual spouse “deserves to rot in jail because he sodomized her son”.
Fatma* says Omar Said Omar, an imam convicted for life imprisonment, betrayed their six-year marriage when he sexually assaulted her only child.
Fatma has no child with Omar, 38, with whom she got married after her husband died.
“I want justice for my son whose life is in ruins because of a person he called a father and looked upon for love, help, and protection,” Fatma told Malindi High Court Judge Reuben Nyakundi on January 29, 2020.
Fatma tearfully told Nyakundi her son scampers for safety when he sees grown-up men, with his father’s assault still fresh in his mind.
“My son’s life is destroyed. He nowadays plays only with girls and is afraid of a male company. I want the court to deliver the harshest penalty, which will be a lesson to people like him (Omar),” Fatma said, making her final appeal before Nyakundi hammers with a gavel – a strike likely to shape Omar’s future.
Malindi Senior Principal Magistrate Sylvia Wewa in November 2018, handed Omar, a life sentence. She found Omar guilty of the March 2016 crime, which had sparked wide protests in Maweni, Malindi.
The judgment triggered widespread jubilations – stride locals, and MUHURI, which represents the victim’s family in court, said was a positive mark in the war against sexual gender-based violence.
Omar appealed Wewa’s judgment, and Nyakundi was to deliver his verdict on January 29, 2020. But the judge deferred his decision to February 5, 2020, when the Probation and Aftercare Service department will present the victim’s impact assessment report.
Court records show Omar sodomized his son and would threaten him with severe consequences if he dared to expose the assault. In some instances, court records revealed, Omar, who denied blame, would silence his son with Sh10.
The victim was aged nine at the time of the incident.
Wewa said Omar lacked remorse for his action and “betrayed the trust of the child who used to look upon him for care, love, shelter, food, and education.”
Nyakundi shielded the victim from making a final appeal before judgment, only allowing his mother to speak.
“The victim is a vulnerable witness, and I will not subject him to riskier levels and trauma,” he said.
During his last submission to Nyakundi, Omar’s lawyer said it’s unfortunate his client faced such a situation.
The advocate said Omar deserves leniency because he has been preaching in prison where Wewa confined him for life.
“It is our plea that you (Nyakundi) should not tie your hands in sentencing under the Sexual Offences Act,” the lawyer said.
The Act allows a judge to enhance a sentence to life imprisonment for any person who attempts to unlawfully and intentionally commit an act which causes penetration with his or her genital organs.
“The (initial) sentence should be sufficient to deter such occurrence and offer retribution, correction, and restoration, that would not leave the family of the accused, his parents, and madrassas without hope,” the lawyer said.
“Two-to-three years sentence would deter, retribute, and punish the accused, who has learned his lesson.”