A court in Mombasa on Wednesday, November 2, sentenced a British national Jermaine Grant to nine years in prison. The sentence was delivered by High Court Judge Martin Muya who found him guilty of nine counts, including forgery.
“The accused will serve one year imprisonment on each of the nine counts and each count will run consecutively, which means that he will serve a total of nine years imprisonment,” the judge ruled.
He is accused of illegally procuring personal documents including a birth certificate and a school leaving certificate in September 2011.
“I have noted that the accused is not a first offender as he has previous convictions of being unlawfully in Kenya and giving false information to a person employed in the public service,” the Judge declared, “I have borne in mind the mitigating facts adduced by counsel for the accused on his behalf,” Justice Muya said.
Apart from the fifth count of attempting to procure a registration which carries a maximum sentence of one year the other counts carry a maximum penalty of three years imprisonment.
“I have noted the aggregate sentence of the nine counts and borne in mind the offences committed by the accused,” the judge said while delivering his verdict.
Grant’s lawyer Chacha Mwita said he will appeal the sentence.
“The judge did serve Grant one year for each of the nine counts. So if the sentences were to run concurrently, then it means he will serve only one year. But the judge took a twist and from the mind of the learned judge is that there were events that were related to different events,” Mwita argued.
“But our contention and as the charge is framed, they were transactions of the same event. So legally Grant still believes that he is innocent. According to my client, the findings are not fair and are not based in law neither are they based on practice and that is why there are grounds to proceed to the higher court,” Mwita added.
On Tuesday the High Court overturned a ruling at a lower court that had acquitted Grant of the nine charges for lack of evidence on January 28. However Judge Muya said the Magistrate Anastacia Ndungu failed to take into consideration that Grant had approached an accomplice in the forgery of birth certificate. Muya ruled that Grant had a case to answer after considering witness testimonies.
Grant is still facing another terror related charges of being in possession of explosive materials with intension of committing a felony. He was arrested in December 2011 within Kisauni by anti terrorism police officers for allegedly plotting to detonate explosives in Mombasa. His Kenyan wife, whom he married just 24 hours before his arrest, has also been charged, The group was allegedly collaborating with Kenyans sympathetic to the al-Qaida-linked Somali militant group Al-Shabaab.