A former student of the Moi Girls High School, Nairobi, has been sentenced to five years in prison for starting a dormitory fire that claimed 10 lives in 2017.
In a ruling delivered on Thursday, High Court Judge Stella Mutuku sentenced the student to five years in prison for each of the life lost.
The sentence will, however, run concurrently meaning she will only serve five years in jail for the manslaughter offences.
While passing the sentence, the judge observed that the accused is a first time offender and no amount of punishment would serve for the lasting impact of the lives lost.
The student was found guilty of manslaughter in December last year.
The accused who was at the time of the incident a minor aged 14 is now aged 18.
While convicting her, Justice Stella Mutuku said the teenager started the fire in a desperate attempt to get transferred from the school but did not intend to kill her schoolmates.
“Her aim may have been just to cause a fire and burn the building without hurting anyone, but it was ill-intentioned given that the building had two floors and there were going to be casualties as a result of the fire,” said justice Mutuku.
The judge noted that the accused tried to wake up her friends in an attempt to rescue them, adding that the State failed to prove the element of malice aforethought.
The prosecution, she added, did not prove the former student was guilty of murder in all 10 counts.
“She is hereby acquitted of the 10 counts of murder she is facing. Instead, I find the offence proved beyond reasonable doubt to be manslaughter in all the 10 counts.”