Sheila Wairimu alias Shay Diva Africa was sentenced to four years in prison with the alternative of a Ksh200,000 fine after she was found guilty of motor vehicle theft.
Kitale Chief Magistrate Julius N’garng’ar on Monday, December 5, 2022, sentenced Shay Diva to four years in prison on three different counts.
The socialite was charged with three counts of intermeddling with family estate, forgery and stealing.
She was fined Ksh10, 000 or risk two months jail, Ksh150, 000 fine or risk 3 years jail term and Ksh40, 000 or risk a one-year jail respectively in the three counts.
The magistrate further ordered the convict to return the Toyota Landcruiser 200 series back to the family of the late Dodhia Kumar who she was dating.
“I have considered the mitigation I will take into account that the accused is a first offender. I have also considered the circumstances under which the offence was committed and the plea in mitigation by the council of the accused,” Kitale Chief Magistrate N’garng’ar ruled.
Mercy and leniency
The socialite’s lawyer David Teti pleaded with the court to be merciful and lenient to his client who he said was her family’s breadwinner.
“My client is very remorseful. She has a family who depends on her. She doubles up as a caregiver to her ill mother who suffers from a heart condition, High blood pressure and diabetes. If given a custodial sentence she would be able to take care of her mother.
“Her mother is a widow and does not have any source of income. My client has four siblings who are all students who depend on her for basic needs including one who is seating for this year’s KCSE and is a day scholar. She is a first offender and pleads with the court for a fair sentence,” the lawyer argued.
Vehicle ownership transfer
The 30-year-old socialite was accused of accessing tycoon PJ Dodhia Kumar’s TIMs/NTSA account and transferring ownership of the vehicle to herself without following the due processes of succession.
According to records at the National Transport and Safety Authority (NTSA), Shay Diva filed a transfer of the log book by logging into the TIMs account of the deceased at 11.45 pm on April 26.
The transfer was authorised at 2 pm the next day, but there were no supporting documents from the owner.
Kumar died in April 2021 aged 61. His family filed a complaint with the police after learning that Shay Diva had taken the vehicle.
The family noted that the tycoon had only given the socialite the Landcruiser on a ‘use and return basis’ because they were in a relationship.
The socialite, in her defence, told the court that the Landcruiser was transferred to her without her knowledge and that she learned about it when she accessed her NTSA account.
However, one of the five witnesses who testified against Shay Diva told the court that the socialite used to blackmail the late tycoon.
The witness, Chirag Bhatt, a manager of a hardware shop which was owned by the late tycoon, said that the socialite used to have her way with the deceased by threatening to expose their illicit relationship to his wife, who lives in the UK.
Bhatt said that is how Shay Diva remained with the vehicle until Kumar’s death.
The court was convinced that the socialite illegally transferred the ownership of the Toyota Landcruiser and slapped her with a guilty verdict on November 30, 2022, before she was ultimately sentenced on December 5, 2022.