A Nyeri man will spend 16 nights behind bars as he awaits a probation report, a court ruled after he was charged with stealing a Ksh 5,200 phone.
Patrick Wakibia Muthoni, who appeared before Senior Magistrate Faith Muguongo, was charged with the theft of a Tecno mobile phone belonging to Naphtali Ndiang’ui on January 21, 2020 at a Nyeri pub.
The court heard that on Tuesday Mr. Ndiang’ui noticed that his phone - which he had left charging at the bar - was missing. Upon alerting the pub’s management of the suspected theft, they reviewed footage from the CCTV cameras at the night spot.
The court heard that the accused, Mr. Muthoni, was caught on camera unplugging the phone from the charger, and taking it with him.
The matter was reported to Nyeri Police Station where investigations started, leading to the arrest of Mr. Muthoni on January 23, 2020.
In his mitigation, Muthoni told the court that he did not intend to participate in any theft, adding that he was only acting on behalf of a lady he had earlier seen with Mr. Ndiang’ui.
He said the woman asked him to pick ‘her phone’ from the socket, and he did. Muthoni says he didn’t think much of it, adding that he even charged another friend’s phone while running her errand.
Speaking to Magistrate Muguongo, Muthoni said he later confronted her when he realised that the phone was not hers, and she admitted to having disposed of the stolen phone. It was then that the woman gave him Ksh.1,000.
Muthoni pleaded for leniency from the court, saying he did not knowingly steal from Mr. Mr. Ndiang’ui. He also said he would reimburse the complainant for the phone.
“I would like to ask the court to pardon me as I am willing to pay back but in installments since I cannot afford the whole amount at once. I am ready to pay,” said Muthoni.
On his part, Ndiang’ui told the court that he only wanted to be paid for the phone. He said that he had nothing against the accused.
Muthoni will be a guest of the state until the probation officer assigned to his case tables his report on February10, 2020.