Former Kenyan journalist and TV news anchor Esther Arunga Timberlake was handed a 10-month jail term after being convicted in the murder of her son but immediately freed on parole.
Arunga was sentenced Thursday morning after pleading guilty to being an accessory to murder. Arunga said she gave the Australian police misleading information into circumstances that led to her three-year-old son’s death in 2014.
Australian Associated Press quoted Crown Prosecutor Danny Boyle saying Arunga called emergency services and told them that the boy had fallen down the stairs. But an autopsy revealed the boy, named Sinclair, died “as a result of a severe blunt force such as punching or stamping or similar” and his injuries were inconsistent with a fall.
It wasn’t until Timberlake was involuntarily admitted to a mental health facility that Arunga changed her story. She eventually told police that she went to the bathroom on the night of June 17, 2014, to find Quincy hitting Sinclair in the stomach before throwing the boy against the wall.
Arunga said her husband kept saying “there’s a devil in his (Sinclair’s) stomach, I have to get it out”.
She submitted to the court that she was afraid to speak because she was afraid of Timberlake who had a strong arm which even an adult couldn’t withstand a punch from.
“I was terrified of being alone and I felt terrible because my husband was sick as well,” she told police.
Timberlake was on Monday charged with murder.