By Sania Babirye
A civil servant working as a permanent staff at parliament has had his 8 month jail sentence for stealing a DVD video recorder squashed by the high court in Kampala.
Ochen Peter who was a store keeper had been convicted of stealing the said DVD worth 800,000 shillings and ordered to serve 8 months in Luzira prison and ordered to refund the said money.
However, being dissatisfied with the lower court judgement, he appealed both the conviction and sentence maintaining that he was innocent .
Ochen had stated that on the alleged day of 2nd May 2019 when the alleged theft took place, he was at Mulago hospital caring for his son who had been admitted at the hospital.
Ochen had also presented admission letters and a discharge form that showed the admission and their discharge on the 7th of May five days after the said theft took place.
However, the lower court dismissed his evidence saying that he was the one with access to the store were the said theft took place.
And today, high court judge Yasin Nyanzi was in agreement with Ochen that evidence adduced showed that he was indeed at Mulago hospital nursing his son who was had testified in court that his father was at hospital that day taking care of him and could not leave his sick sin at 11pm in the night alone at the hospital to go to Parliament to steal the said DVD .
Justice Nyanzi has also faulted the security at parliament of failing to at least show Ochen at parliament premises that day as alleged.
In conclusion, Justice Nyanzi observed that Ochen was never at Parliament that day and that indeed state failed to link the convict to the scene of crime.
He is also concerned with the convict that he was not the only person with access to the said room since other people including his supervisor had access too.
He then squashed both the conviction and sentence and set Ochen free ordering that being a public servant, the said illegal conviction should not have a baring to his job .