A judge pardons a couple for stealing wheat flour and raises funds in court to provide them with food.
Vincent Adet, Senior Principal Magistrate of the Mombasa Law Courts in Kenya, has pardoned a woman who was charged with her husband for stealing a bale of wheat flour and has also raised money to buy food for the couple.
Saumu Ali and Evans Odhiambo were accused of stealing flour worth Ksh.1,980 from Grain Industries Ltd on April 13 at Shimanzi area in Mvita, in violation of section 268 (1) as read with section 275 of the penal code.
During an April hearing, the couple pleaded guilty to the charges, telling the court that they stole the wheat flour to feed their children, who had gone without food for several days.
Ali stated that she was doing her usual casual jobs when her husband summoned her to assist him in carrying a bale of flour from a nearby car.
She begged for forgiveness, saying she only stole to feed her children and promising never to steal again.
Odhiambo, for his part, stated that he was a scrap metal dealer who had lost his job due to President Uhuru Kenyatta’s scrap metal ban. He claimed that in order to feed his children, he had to steal food.
Principal Magistrate Vincent Adet pardoned the accused in his ruling on Wednesday, May 11, noting that he had considered the probation report presented before his court by the probation officer.
“On humanitarian grounds, particularly for the first accused person, I have considered the circumstances under which the offence was committed and I sympathise with her situation, with three children under her care and no source of income, and I am of the opinion that let us buy her a bale of wheat flour and some meat for today,” Adet was quoted as saying by K24 TV.
The judge then invited members of the public, journalists, and court officials in attendance to contribute any amount to Saumu’s food kitty, and launched the drive by handing over Ksh.1000.