A man who has for the past few years made the lives of lorry drivers a living hell was yesterday sentenced to life by a Loitoktok court.
Until his sentencing, Simon Muia Katuu was the mastermind of a gang that abducted lorry drivers before beating them senseless and driving off with their lorries to unknown destinations.
In yet another investigative piece meticulously put together by detectives, Simon Katuu was found guilty of robbery with violence contrary to section 296 (2) of the penal code and sent to where he belongs for life.
In a ruling delivered at the Loitoktok, principal magistrate’s court, the presiding magistrate Judicaster Thuku, while handing down the sentence said that the court was convinced beyond reasonable doubt that the accused committed the offences.
On March 29, 2020, the accused masquerading as a genuine maize trader, approached a lorry driver at Taj Mall in Embakasi, Nairobi and hired him to ferry maize from Loitoktok to Marikiti market in Nairobi. The driver happily roared his Mitsubishi canter to life and set off for the trip, looking forward to a handsome pay after delivering the maize.
However, shock awaited the driver who upon reaching the Illacit area in Loitoktok, was led to a shamba where the alleged maize was to be loaded to the lorry. Immediately he stopped the lorry, the accused who was joined by other men turned on him with heavy blows and kicks beating him senseless as they demanded to be shown the vehicle’s cut-out switch.
After the driver declined to reveal the switch, the thugs took off with his two mobile phones and the vehicle’s ignition keys, leaving him with life-threatening injuries. Following the incident, the victim managed to file a report at the Loitoktok police station.
A year later on April 5, 2021, the accused again posing as a maize trader approached another lorry driver in Kasarani. Using the same trick, he hired the lorry to Loitoktok to allegedly deliver dry maize in Nairobi.
Along the way, the accused kept making frequent calls that arose the suspicion of the driver who now became all eyes! The lorry was fast approaching Loitoktok at around 6 pm when luckily, the accused fell soundly asleep like a lion in the Mara, after an afternoon meal of a whole Buffalo. The thought of how he would forcefully take the lorry from the driver must have been so fulfilling.
But using his smartphone, the clever driver quickly took photos of the miscreant as he snored.
The driver’s fears were confirmed moments later when the accused woke up and led him to a route that took them to a secluded area along the Kenya – Tanzania boarded. The suspect and other thugs who emerged from nearby bushes gave the driver a dog’s beating before driving off with the lorry, leaving the badly shaken man to his own devices.
He however managed to report the attack to DCI officers in Loitoktok and together with Tanzanian authorities, they recovered the lorry the following day stuck in the mud, kilometres away from the scene of the attack.
In his last unlucky attempt, the accused had used the same modus operandi to approach a lorry driver in Taveta town, to deliver maize in Kitui county. However, on reaching Loitoktok where the maize was to be loaded to the lorry, a mixture of fear and intuition led the suspicious driver to Entarra police post. But before he could stop the beast, the accused quickly opened the door and leapt off to nearby thickets.
A manhunt for the accused was immediately launched, leading to his arrest in Emali. All the drivers whom the accused had attacked, were summoned by detectives from Loitoktok and they positively identified Simon Katuu, as the man who masquerading as a maize trader, had made the lives of lorry drivers along the Loitoktok route a living hell.
In a case of justice delivered expeditiously, the suspect was arraigned in court on April 23, 2021, and yesterday he was sentenced to life in two acts of robbery with violence and seven in attempted robbery.
We thank the Loitoktok principal magistrate Judicaster Thuku, for delivering justice to the drivers who have suffered life-threatening injuries, in the hands of the accused and his accomplices.