Lira man sentenced to 40 years in jail over murder

Alele who was then a student at Leo Atubo College in Lira City was convicted after he was found guilty of killing Scovia Amule who was then a school bursar at the same college.

LIRA, UGANDA: The High Court in Lira has sentenced a 30-year-old Calvin Alele to 40 years in prison for murdering his lover.

Alele who was then a student at Leo Atubo College in Lira City was convicted after he was found guilty of killing Scovia Amule who was then a school bursar at the same college.

Police records that Alele during the month of January 2019 at Kabalega market in Dokolo District with malice aforethought unlawfully caused the death of Amule.

Court heard that Alele fell in love with the deceased in 2016 when she was a bursar at Leo Atubo College and the convict was a student. They subsequently started cohabiting in various places like Lumumba, Uhuru Bar, Obanga Pe Wany, and Ober Kampala, all in Lira Town.

However, in 2017, the relationship turned abusive when the man realised that his lover had two grown up children.

On January 18, 2019, Amule went missing and on February 27 of that same year, the deceased’s younger sister only identified as Auma informed their brother about the incident.

A few days later, a decomposing body which later turned out to be that of Amule was found at Kabalega market, Kangai Sub County in Dokolo District.

Court heard that after about a period of two weeks, Alele went to the deceased’s house at night and asked his sister-in-law Auma if they should divide the household possessions left behind by the Amule.  

Police investigations into the matter, the court heard, revealed that on the fateful day, the deceased went with the accused to pass time. He even carried her on a motorbike to an unknown destination and since then, Amule was not seen alive again.

The state prosecutor, Mr Jonathan Okello, told the court that although the accused did not have any past criminal record on, he should be sentenced to 45 in prison.

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“He intended to cause the death of a hardworking woman who was struggling to raise her children and the family,” said the state prosecutor.

But the defence lawyer, Mr Quirinus Oyugi Onono, requested the court to award his client a lenient sentence.

“He is still a young man who has just completed school and having him spend 45 years in prison would ruin his future,” he said.

Delivering his judgment on Monday, Lira Resident Judge, Justice Duncan Gaswaga, said prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that Alele was behind the murder of his lover.

“I have listened to both sides, and therefore, the accused shall serve 40 years in jail. This is a very unfortunate incident because the deceased was burnt beyond recognition. The punishment is to help the convict reform so that by the time he is free he can be a good person in the community,” Justice Gaswaga ruled.

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However, two years, 10 months, and 24 days that the convict spent on remand shall be deducted from the 40 years.

“The property of the deceased shall also be handed back to the family and in case you disagree with the court decision, you can as well make an appeal through the Court of Appeal,” the judge added.

Additional reporting By Bill Oketch & Charity Akullo (DM)

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