A testimony issued by Thika Sub-County children’s officer on Tuesday, March 6 suggests that the parents of a baby, who was found with 14 needles lodged in her body on December 2, 2017, were aware that the small pieces of metal were stuck in the toddler, contrary to their earlier claims.
The children’s officer, Rebecca Kariuki, told Thika Law Courts that she made the discovery after rescuing the then-10-month-old baby from her parents.
Ms Kariuki told the court that she received the information from Isaac Gichura and Jacinta Ndunge’s oldest child after visiting the couple’s home in Kiganjo, Thika.
“The couple’s oldest child said Mr and Mrs Gichura knew that Jane Wairimu had needles lodged in her buttocks, and that the baby had developed a habit of crying uncontrollably,” Ms Kariuki said in her testimony.
Ms Kariuki further told the court that Mr Gichura was married to another woman besides Ms Ndunge.
“He was living with both of them (wives) in his small rental house in Kiganjo,” said Ms Kariuki, adding: “Gichura’s second wife was not at home during our visit to their house late December, 2017.”
Isaac Gichura, 41, and Jacinta Ndunge, 31, who are facing charges of subjecting Wairimu to torture by inserting needles in her body, had initially told doctors at the Thika Level Five Hospital that their child was suffering from fever. Needles were discovered lodged in Baby Wairimu’s body after she was examined.
The couple maintains that they learnt about the needles in the girl’s body after her examination in hospital; and not before her admission as claimed by Ms Kariuki.
They further maintain they are unaware of how the needles got into the girl’s body.
Two witnesses had been lined up to testify on Tuesday, but only one did. Resident Magistrate Brenda Bartoo ordered that the doctor, who attended to the baby in December 2017, be given a chance to testify before the investigation’s officer.
The case will be heard on March 21, when the two witnesses will appear before court.
News about needles lodged in Baby Wairimu’s body broke on December 2, 2017.
The baby’s parents were arrested following the discovery, but were released on a Ksh300, 000 bond by Senior Resident Magistrate Grace Omodho on December 28.
Baby Wairimu and her siblings were taken into protective custody at Macheo Children’s Home after her parents were linked to the brutal incident.