JUDGMENT OF THE COURT
BERNARD KIMANI GACHERU (appellant), was, initially charged before the High Court Nakuru on one count of murder contrary to section 203 as read with section 204 of the Penal Code Chapter 63 Laws of Kenya . The particulars of the charge alleged that:-
"On the night of 16th and 17th May, 1999 at Mwisho wa Lami Shopping Centre Bahati Location, Nakuru District within the Rift Valley Province murdered MARGARET WAMBUI KARANJA."
When the appellant first appeared before the High Court on 28th of February, 2001 and the murder charge was read out to him, he is recorded to have responded thus: - "It is true."
It does appear however that, being a capital charge with a mandatory death sentence, the learned trial judge disregarded the appellant's intention to admit the charge and proceeded to record a plea of "not guilty" . The case was then set down for hearing on a subsequent date.
On 31st May, 2000, hearing did, indeed, open before the Judge sitting with three assessors. The pros…