KAMPALA- High court judge, Justice Jane Frances Abodo has quashed the conviction and sentence of 2 years that was handed to Kabarole district woman MP’s stalker Brian Isiko.
Isiko 25 year college student at YMCA in Jinja had been convicted for stalking the Kabarole district woman MP Sylvia Rwaboogo.
The judge stated that Buganda Road Court Magistrate Gladys Kamasanyu errored in law when she recorded a plea of guilty of Isiko basing on his partial admission of the offences.
“This automatically made the trial magistrate reach at both a wrong conviction and sentence,” justice Abodo ruled.
However, the judge cancelled Isiko’s bail and ordered for his retrial before Buganda Road Chief Magistrates Court within 48hours.
Isiko had appealed against his two-year sentence and convict.
Through his lawyer Ramathan Waiswa he had presented three grounds upon which he wanted the high court to quash the judgment of Kamasanyu.
In his appeal, Isiko had faulted Kamasanyu of changing his plea of not guilty to a plea of guilty without following the prescribed procedure in the law.
To prove this, his lawyer Waiswa reproduced the record of the lower court where his client admitted downloading MP Rwaboogo’s contact from the parliamentary Website and expressed his freedom of speech through sending her love messages he picked in love songs and poems of American celebrities; Don Williams and Enrique Ignesiaus.
Waiswa said “It is in this elaborate explanation of his actions that court mistakenly took as Isiko’s admission of offences on June 20, 2018,” said Waiswa.
Isiko’s lawyer told the court that his conviction was uncalled for because he sent the love messages thinking it was an easier way of befriending and seeking guidance from the MP and not necessarily to harass or harm her.
He had further faulted court for convicting him on charges of cyber harassment and offensive communication basing on inadequate pieces of evidence.
“In the absence of a single love message or phone call that is rude, obscene or indecent tendered in court by Rwabogo as originating from Isiko, the magistrate acted unreasonably to convict his client of offensive communication,” Waiswa told court.
The lower court had also been faulted for failing to treat Isiko as a first offender whose actions had caused no harm of injury to Ms Rwaboogo and hence handed him a harsh and excessive sentence. The lawyer has instead asked court if it’s inclined to uphold Isiko’s conviction, it should reduce his 2-year jail term to a fine.
However, the state prosecutor Joanita Tumwishirize opposed Isiko’s appeal maintaining that the 2 counts were audibly read to him before he pleaded guilty.
“If there are any irregularities observed during the trial process in the lower court, the High court should instead order for a re-trial instead of setting Isiko free,” Tumwishirize said.