A mother of two has escaped jail time after the High Court found that she was provoked into killing her husband’s lover.
Judge Mumbi Ngugi sent Jane Chemng’eno Tanui to probation for two years for killing Linnet Chebet three years ago.
The judge, however, had no kind words for Jane’s husband Bernard Langat, who fled his house, leaving the two women fighting.
The court heard that Langat arrived at his house on Kapkoren estate, Kericho county, on the night of June 21, 2015, accompanied by Chebet. His wife and 12-year-old son were asleep.
Asked wife to cook for girlfriend
Langat told Tanui he had come with a visitor and asked her to prepare food for them.
When she inquired who the visitor was, Chebet arrogantly answered back that she was Langat’s girlfriend and that they had a child together and were planning to settle down as husband and wife.
Tanui was shocked and asked the woman to leave but instead, Chebet, who was seated on the sofa in the living room, started hurling insults at her.
A heated argument ensued and Tanui tried dragging Chebet out of the house.
Chebet then slapped her in the face and said she was not leaving.
The two started fighting and Langat fled.
Tanui, who was highly irritated, reached for a kitchen knife that was on a table and stabbed Chebet on the left side of her chest. Bleeding heavily, Chebet tried to walk out of the house but collapsed at the door. She lost consciousness and Tanui screamed for help.
Neighbours responded promptly.
AP officers from the nearby Kapkorech Camp rushed to the home and took Chebet to the health centre, but she died.
Tanui was charged with murder but the offence was later reduced to manslaughter, an offence she pleaded guilty to.
In mitigation, Tanui said she was remorseful and regrets the incident. She said her two children are now living with her mother, after her husband fled and remarried.
Irritated by her arrogance
Tanui said she did not intend to kill, but Chebet provoked her when she spoke to her arrogantly and slapped her.
“If being a dastardly cur, the only term that seems to me to adequately describe the accused’s husband, was a cognisable offence, the accused’s husband should be facing charges,” Justice Ngugi said in the judgment
“One woman is cold in her grave. The other has been languishing in custody for two years. And the author of all the trouble has moved on and married another wife.”
She ruled that Chebet serve a non-custodial sentence.