Criminal law

Bukenya Patrick and Anor v Uganda ((Criminal Appeal No.15 of 2001)) [2002] UGSC 37 (18 December 2002);


Search Summary: 

This is a second appeal. The appellants were tried and convicted by
the High Court for aggravated robbery and were sentenced to death.
Their appeal to the Court of Appeal was dismissed. They appealed to
this court.

Headnote and Holding: 

The thrust of the first ground of appeal was that it was wrong for the
trial Judge to rely on the evidence of identification by a single
identifying witness who was a young girl aged 11 years without
corroboration. The court stated that the issue as to whether a child is
of tender years arises only at the trial but not when the offence was
committed and corroboration in such a case is not a requirement by
Another complaint on appeal was about the doctrine of recent
possession and the court stated that It ought to be realised that
where evidence of recent possession of stolen property is proved
beyond reasonable doubt, it raises a very strong presumption of
participation in the stealing so that if there is no innocent explanation
of possession, the evidence is even stronger and more dependable
than the eye witnesses evidence of identification in a nocturnal
event. This is especially so because invariably the former is
independently verifiable while the later solely depends on the
credibility of the eye witness. The court observed that both courts
had not erred.
The appeal was thereby dismissed


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