Court name
Supreme Court of Uganda
Judgment date
18 February 2004

Byasigaraho Wilson, Cpl v Uganda (Criminal Appeal-2003/15) [2004] UGSC 11 (18 February 2004);

Cite this case
[2004] UGSC 11

THE REPUBLIC OF UGANDA

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF UGANDA

AT MENGO

CORAM: ODER, TSEKOOKO, KAROKORA, KANYEIHAMBA, KATO,
JJ.S.C.



CRIMINAL APPEAL NO. 15 OF 2003


CPL. BYASIGARAHO WILSON ::::::::::::::::::::::::
APPELLANT


AND

UGANDA
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::: RESPONDENT



[An appeal from the decision of the Court of appeal contained in the judgment
of the Justices Okello, Mpagi-Bahigeine and Twinomujuni,
JJ.A. delivered on 8th
May, 2003, in Criminal Appeal No. 15 of
2003].

JUDGMENT OF THE COURT

The appellant, Byasigaraho Wilson was indicted, tried, convicted and
sentenced to death by the High Court at Fort Portal for aggravated
robbery
contrary to Sections 272 and 273(2) and murder, contrary to Sections 183 and 184
of the Penal Code Act. He appealed to the
Court of Appeal which dismissed his
appeal. Hence this appeal.


The appeal to this court was founded on
five grounds. During the course of his submissions, Mr. Cranimer Tayebwa,
counsel for the
appellant, abandoned ground 1.

Counsel proceeded to argue the rest of the grounds together. He contended
that the courts below did not take into account the fact
that the appellant had
been beaten before he made the charge and caution statement which the two courts
held to be a confession.
He further contended that the Court of Appeal failed to
consider the statement in its entirety. The fact of the participation of
PW 3 in
the commission of the offences was ignored and ought to have been considered
since he gave evidence as an accomplice. The
courts below made errors in law and
fact and this appeal ought to be allowed, conviction quashed and sentence set
aside.

Mrs. Betty Khisa, Senior Principle State Attorney, for the respondent
supported both the convictions and sentence. Counsel for the
state referred to
the evidence relied upon by the courts below and the way the two courts reached
their decisions. In her view, their
findings and decisions were correct and
cannot be faulted. She prayed that the appeal be dismissed.

Having heard both counsel and perused the record of proceedings, we are
satisfied that the appellant was properly convicted. His claim
that he confessed
because of beating is not true since the assault on his person was by a crowd
which was chasing him after the murder
and robbery had been reported and before
he made his confession to the police officer, AIP Katabarwa. In our view
therefore, the
trial court and the Court of Appeal were correct in holding that
the confession had been made voluntarily and was therefore admissible.

In the confession, the appellant revealed the whereabouts of the murder
weapon which only the user could have known. In any event,
the evidence of PW
3 and PW 4 corroborated his confession. Whether or not the evidence of PW 3 as
an alleged accomplice should have
been ignored or not, would not have, in our
opinion advanced the case for the defence any further. If PW 3 was indeed an
accomplice,
his evidence was amply corroborated.


In our view, the
trial court properly evaluated the evidence and the learned Justices of the
Court of Appeal correctly reevaluated
it and came to their own decision which
was to confirm both the conviction and sentence.


We are satisfied
that the appellant was properly convicted. There was ample evidence to support
this conviction. We find no merit
in this appeal which must fail. It is
accordingly dismissed.

Dated at Mengo this 19th day of February,
2004.

A.H.O. ODER
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT

J.W.N. TSEKOOKO
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME
COURT

A.N. KAROKORA
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME
COURT

G.W. KANYEIHAMBA
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME
COURT

C.M. KATO
JUSTICE OF THE SUPREME COURT