Arguing the ground of appeal, Mr. Mark Bwengye, counsel for the appellant, contended that the sentence of 10 years imprisonment which
was imposed on the appellant, aged 21 years was excessive. He submitted that the aim of the sentence is to allow the offender to
reform. According to counsel, in the instant appeal, the appellant would be locked away for a very long time and will not be afforded
the opportunity to reform. He prayed court to allow the appeal and reduce the sentence from 10 years imprisonment to 5 imprisonment.
Ms Komuhangi, learned Senior State Attorney, for the respondent supported the sentence. She argued that before passing sentence the
learned trial judge took into account all the mitigating and aggravating circumstances. He sentenced the appellant to an appropriate
term of imprisonment. She prayed court to dismiss the appeal.
Sentencing is a discretionary matter for the trial judge. The appellate court would not interfere with the sentence unless it is
shown that it is based on wrong principles or is manifestly harsh or excessive. See Sulaiman Katusabe v Uganda Criminal Appeal No. 7 of 1991 (Supreme Court).
In the instant case the appellant was convicted of defilement which carries a maximum sentence of death. The learned trial judge considered the penalty
for the offence the period spent on remand, the age of the victim and his relationship to the appellant. He sentenced him to 10 years
imprisonment for defiling his niece.
This court, in the case of Kiberu Christopher vs Uganda, Criminal Appeal No. 66 of 1998, which is similar to the instant appeal, confirmed a sentence of imprisonment for 12 years. The appellant defiled a neighbour’s
daughter aged 4 years.
We are of a considering view that the instant appeal is very similar to the above case. In both cases the victims were very young
and had close relationship with the appellants. We see no good reason to interfere with the sentence passed by the learned trial
In the result this appeal is dismissed for lack of merit.
Dated at Kampala this 31st day of January 2006.