A 12-year-old boy has survived a mob after reportedly killing a neighbour’s one year and eight months old baby. The boy reportedly hit the baby using a brick and later hid her body in a nearby bush.
The incident happed in Katebu village, Paloga sub-county in Lamwo district on Monday evening. Aswa River Region police spokesperson Jimmy Patrick Okema said that the search for the baby was mounted after her mother found her missing from home where she had been left in the company of other children.
After being confronted, the juvenile suspect led the angry community members to a spot where the baby’s body had been hidden, sparking a riotous reaction from the residents. The boy was saved by the intervention of both the police and the sub-county chairperson.
He says the suspect confessed to the crime before the police and notes that the deceased mother had allegedly threatened to hack him earlier with a machete because of his violent behaviour towards other children.
The juvenile suspect is now held in custody at Lamwo central police station. According to police, the suspect’s file has already been forwarded to the resident state attorney for advice.
But Paloga sub-county chairperson Ben Bitek Okot suggested that the suspect be subjected to counselling and rehabilitation, calling for calm among the aggrieved community members. He says they are consulting with the Pologa clan head on how the matter can be addressed through compensation to the deceased’s family members.
In Uganda, the minimum age of criminal responsibility is 12, even though the Constitution and the Children Act define a child to mean a person under the age of eighteen years.
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