A Middle aged man was fined Sh 13,000 or serve six months’ jail term by an Eldama Ravine court for being in possession of endangered forest species.
Erastus Kibet pleaded guilty to the offence, when he appeared before Eldama Ravine Senior Resident Magistrate Alice Towett on 22nd Wednesday 2023.
According to the charge sheet, the accused was charged with two counts namely, entering into a state forest without a permit contrary to section 64 (1) (g) and cutting and felling forest produce contrary to section 64 (1) both counts as read with section 64(2) of the forest conservation and management ACT (NO.34 of 2016).
The particulars of the case are that on the March this year at around 17:30hrs at Esageri forest in Koibatek Sub County, Baringo County, the accused jointly others not present in court, were found inside the forest with no permit from the director Kenya Forest Service and caught cutting and felling forest produce namely cedar trees and splitting them into five cedar posts valued at Sh5,000 using a panga.
The accused was caught and escorted to Eldama Ravine police station, where he remained in custody pending today’s judgement.
In his mitigation, he pleaded for leniency, claiming that he has a child who had cleared high school in 2021 and that his KCSE certificate was still with the school due to school fees balance and having no other choice, he had no option but to commit the crime so as to earn some money.