Quincy Timberlake, a controversial Kenyan preacher and former presidential candidate, received an 11-year prison term in Australia on Friday. This sentence followed his admission of guilt for manslaughter in the tragic death of his son, Sinclair.
Justice Paul Freeburn, during his verdict, described the three-year-old’s death as “brutal and beyond understanding.” Timberlake, who is married to former TV personality Esther Arunga, confessed to the crime on September 13, just two weeks prior.
The court heard that Timberlake had forcefully struck his young son in the stomach, causing him to stumble. Timberlake claimed he did this because he believed the child was possessed by a malevolent entity residing in his abdomen, justifying his actions as an attempt to exorcise the evil spirit.
Despite the efforts of paramedics, Sinclair tragically lost his life. Timberlake’s confession came in August as part of a plea deal with the prosecution, in hopes of receiving a lighter sentence.
The legal proceedings took an unexpected turn when Timberlake’s guilty plea for manslaughter was accepted, leading to the withdrawal of the murder charge and the cancellation of the planned judge-only trial.
Esther Timberlake had previously been convicted of being an accessory to her son’s manslaughter. She attempted to mislead authorities by failing to disclose that Timberlake had punched their son. The couple had omitted crucial details of the incident from their initial account to the police, where Timberlake had claimed that his son had fallen on the stairs.
The judge sentenced Timberlake based on the fact that he had punched his son with the intent to cause serious harm, but that he was of diminished responsibility at the time. Timberlake’s pretrial records showed he had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and psychosis and that his forceful strike had led to his son’s untimely death.
Judge Freeburn cleared him for parole eligibility after serving nine years, but emphasized that the decision would ultimately rest with the parole board.