Ugandan Court Fines US Couple For Torturing Foster Child

A Ugandan court has ordered a US couple charged with torturing their foster child to pay him $26,000 (£20,700) as compensation.

The compensation resulted from a plea deal, which also led to the court dropping the charges of aggravated trafficking and torture against the couple, which could have seen them receive life imprisonment or death penalty.

The couple, Nicholas and Mackenzie Spencer were arrested last year and charged with torturing the 10-year-old boy over two years.

This is after the child’s nanny filed a police report alleging that the couple repeatedly subjected the child to inhumane treatment

On Tuesday, they pleaded guilty to the charges of cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment, working without permits and staying in Uganda unlawfully, for which they were fined 4.86m Ugandan shillings.

But Tuesday’s ruling has angered child rights activists who termed it “a mockery of justice”.

Activist Proscovia Najjumba questioned how the court allowed the couple to “walk away” after accepting they “mistreated a child”, the AFP news agency reported.

Court documents showed that the couple served the child cold food, made him sleep on a bare wooden platform without bedding and forced him to squat “in an awkward position”.