Former Laikipia North Member of Parliament Mathew Lempurkel has moved to court to appeal against a 1-year prison sentence that was handed to him for allegedly assaulting incumbent Laikipia North MP Sarah Korere.

The former MP was accused of assaulting Korere on November 21, 2016, at the late former Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery's office at Harambee House.

During the ruling on November 5, Senior Principal Magistrate Hellen Onkwani sentenced Lempurkel to one year in prison without the option of a fine.

Former Laikipia North MP Mathew Lempurkel. |Photo| Courtesy|

"(Lempurkel) willfully and unlawfully assaulted Sarah Korere by slapping her on the left cheek and kicked her on the lower abdomen thereby occasioning her actual bodily harm," court papers read in part.

Lempurkel’s lawyer Saitabao Kanchori has since moved to court, arguing that the court made a mistake in sentencing the former lawmaker.

According to Kanchori, evidence indicates that Korere was the aggressor in the altercation.

“The trial magistrate erred in law and in fact by totally disregarding the unchallenged evidence of an eyewitness who testified under oath how Ms. Lekorere accosted and attacked Mr. Lempurkel in the presence of over 20 other persons allied to her,” Kanchori says in court documents seen by Nation.

The lawyer further argued that the magistrate downplayed the evidence that Korere and Lempurkel were political rivals, and thus the lawsuit was politically motivated.

Kanchori claims Magistrate Onkwani’s decision was “draconian, disproportionate and discriminatory, considering that Ms. Korere only suffered a minor scratch.”

Lempurkel now wants the High Court to release him on bail, pending the hearing and determination of his appeal.