Jailed nurse wants Court to re-examine evidence

KAMPALA

A court appeal in which a jailed nurse is challenging her three-year- sentence over pricking a baby with a cannula contaminated with HIV blood kicked off on Monday with her seeking the High Court to re-examine the evidence that led to her conviction.
Rosemary Namubiru through her lawyer, Mr Paul Mukiibi claimed that Buganda Road Chief Magistrate’s Court erred in law when it convicted her basing on the weakness of the prosecution evidence.
“The prosecution not only failed to exhibit in Court the controversial cannula that was used to prick the baby but also failed to present the other eye witnesses to the crime. This occasioned a miscarriage of justice,” Mr Mukiibi submitted.

“The then Chief Magistrate, Ms Olive Kazaarwe, should have believed my client (Namubiru) that all what happened was a mistake and given her a non-custodial sentence. Criminal law does not punish errors but intention, so she never deserved such sentence as she was never reckless,” Mr Mukiibi further said.
He added: “Basing on the fact that the baby was examined and found free from the disease is reason enough to believe that Namubiru had no intention of infecting the baby with virus.”

However, the State attorney, Ms Peace Biira sought Court to dismiss Namubiru’s appeal and uphold the lower court’s decision on grounds that the evidence was not only overwhelming but also the trial Magistrate properly evaluated the evidence on record and convicted the appellant, who neglected the precautions she should have taken to save the child.
She maintained that the claim by the defence that the charge sheet was not clear is baseless. As it clearly disclosed the neglect act by convict, the danger she exposed to the child and the fact that she knew the consequences of her actions since it is medically trained not to share needles.

Subsequently, Justice Atwooki Rugadya set October 22, this year to deliver his judgment before ordering Namubiru to be returned to Luzira prison.
Namubiru was on May 19, 2014 convicted with negligence when she pricked a baby with a cannula that had earlier on pricked her, aware that she is HIV positive.

bndagire@ug.nationmedia.com

SOURCE: Daily Monitor

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