Acid Attacker Sentenced to 50 Years Imprisonment After Retrial

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The High Court in Soroti sentenced Francis Obiri Andrew to 50 years of imprisonment for murder with acid.

This follows the retrial of the case involving the tragic murder of Dorothy Atim, a journalist from the Teso region, which occurred on September 8, 2013, at Soroti senior quarters in Soroti district.

According to Jacquelyn Okui, public relations officer at ODPP, it was the prosecution’s evidence that on September 8th, 2013, the accused, with premeditated malice, killed Atim by pouring acid on various parts of her body.

Okui said despite pleading not guilty, Obirai had previously faced trial for the same offence, resulting in a conviction and a 35-year prison sentence on March 9, 2018.

However, following an appeal, the Court of Appeal declared the initial trial null and void on February 7, 2023, due to procedural irregularities hinged on the absence of the assessors in the trial process. The Court of Appeal then ordered a retrial.

She said that the prosecution presented compelling evidence to the court, detailing the events of the night of September 8, 2013, and it was revealed that the accused, in a brutal act, assaulted Atim Dorothy at Plot 3 Opeta Road, Senior Quarters in Soroti City.

Florence Elaborot, the mother of Atim, provided testimony, recounting how, in the early hours of that night, at approximately 3:00 am, she was awakened by the agonising screams of her daughter, Atim.

“Toto toto, aiar eong Obirai, Toto toto aiar eong Obirai,” meaning “Mummy Mummy Obirai has killed me, Mummy Mummy Obirai has killed me,” she stated.

Reacting swiftly, the mother rushed to her daughter’s aid, promptly transported her to Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, and later transferred her to Mulago National Referral Hospital, where she endured a harrowing six months in the hospital.

“Tragically, Atim’s skin began to peel off, leaving only her flesh clinging to her bones, making her succumb to the grievous effects of the acid attack,” she added.

Okui also revealed that the deceased and the accused had been lovers, but upon their separation, the accused resorted to stalking and ultimately perpetrating the heinous attack.

According to Okui, the verdict stands as a solemn reminder of the consequences of such reprehensible acts and serves as a testament to the pursuit of justice in our legal system.

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