In view of the above position of the law, the quotation from the learned trial judge’s judgement is unassailable. PW1 and PW2
gave evidence which clearly implicated the appellant and placed him at the scene of crime. Counsel who represented him at the trial
did not cross-examine these witnesses on the evidence that incriminated him. The complaint by appellant’s learned counsel that
the judge convicted the appellant after finding that there was a prima facie case against him and abused his constitutional right
to keep silent is not, therefore, correct.
Regarding corroboration we have on record the evidence of PW3, the doctor who examined PW1. In his evidence he testified that the
complainant was below 18 years. Her hymen had been ruptured about 2 months before and she had a venereal disease. This evidence corroborates
PW1’s evidence that she had been defiled from December 2001 to March 2002. We appreciate the submission by the appellant’s
counsel that the appellant was not medically examined to find out whether he too had venereal disease so as to corroborate PW1’s
testimony that it was the appellant who had defiled her and no other person. That notwithstanding, there is on record unchallenged
evidence of PW1 and PW2, which implicates the appellant
Corroboration in sexual offences is a rule of practice. It was stated in Chila v R (1967) EA 722 thus:
“The judge should warn the assessors and himself of the danger of acting on the uncorroborated testimony of the complainant,
but having done so he may convict in the absence of corroboration if he is satisfied that her evidence is truthful. If no warning
is given, then the conviction will normally be set aside unless the appellate court is satisfied that there has been no failure of
In the instant appeal, the learned trial judge before convicting the appellant on the prosecution evidence warned herself and the
assessors of the dangers of convicting on the uncorroborated testimony of the complainant. Having done so, she went ahead and convicted the appellant, as she was satisfied that the witnesses were truthful. We are unable to fault
the learned trial judge on that.
It is rightly submitted by counsel for the appellant and conceded by the Senior State Attorney that the appellant did not have sexual
intercourse with PW1 on the day he was arrested. We have carefully looked at the particulars of the indictment which specify that
the appellant had sexual intercourse with PW1 between August 2001 and March 2002. We appreciate the Senior State Attorney’s
submission that any sexual encounter between these dates was sufficient to constitute the offence of defilement. The evidence of
PW1 is clear that the appellant had sexual intercourse with her from December 2001 to March 2002 more than ten times until he was
The law provides that the indictment must contain a statement of the specific offence with which the accused is charged together
with such particulars as may be necessary to give reasonable information as to the nature of the offence charged. Regarding time,
the law requires that it must be expressed in ordinary language as to indicate with reasonable clarity the time when the offence
was committed. See sections 22 and 25(n) of The Trial on Indictment Act. We are of the considered view that the particulars of the offence in the indictment before us clearly specify the offence, the particulars
and the time the offence was committed. The appellant had, therefore, reasonable information as to the nature of the charge and the
time he was alleged to have committed the offence was indicated to him with reasonable clarity.
The appellant was convicted on a proper charge and there was sufficient evidence to prove the case against him beyond reasonable
doubt. Grounds 1 and 2, therefore, fail.
We now consider ground 3, which is an appeal against sentence. The complaint by the appellant’s counsel is that the sentence
of 8 years imprisonment is excessive. The appellant was a first offender and had prayed for leniency. She criticised the learned
judge for having been sentimental when passing sentence. She prayed court to reduce the sentence of 8 years imprisonment to 2 years
imprisonment. The learned Senior State Attorney supported the sentence as in his view, it was not manifestly excessive.
Before passing the sentence the learned trial judge considered the fact that the appellant was a first offender and took into account
the period he had spent on remand. She also considered that the offence was rampant and the circumstances under which it was committed.
We find nothing sentimental about that. Sentencing is within the discretion of the trial judge. The appellate court will only interfere
with the sentence passed by the trial court, if it is evident that the trial court acted on a wrong principle, or overlooked some
material factors or the sentence is either illegal, or is manifestly excessive or so low as to amount to a miscarriage of justice.
See section 139 of the Trial on Indictment Act and Ogoola s/o Owoura v R (1954) 21 EACA 270
The maximum sentence for the offence of defilement is death. We find the sentence of 8 years imprisonment neither illegal nor manifestly excessive. We have no reason to interfere with it. Ground 3, too, must fail. We find no merit in this appeal. It is accordingly dismissed.
Dated at Kampala this 27th day of March 2007.