With a Dwayne Douglas Johnson muscular mass, shaggy hair, Richard Arinaitwe entered the court room at Twed Towers under the heavy escort of eight prison warders.
He was no ordinary prisoner.
Dressed in a white T-shirt, blue jeans and a pair of white sneakers, Arinaitwe was led into the room with handcuffs and shackles on his legs.
Everyone in the courtroom, turned their necks to get a closer look at who was making this grand entrance.
Arinaitwe was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for killing Cecilia Goetz, an American citizen at Hotel Equatorial in 1998.
He had come to the Court of Appeal to receive the verdict of his appeal against the sentence.
A total of five prison warders kept guard on him and at no moment did they leave.
In rare circumstances, when anyone of them wanted to excuse themselves, they asked another to stand in for him before shortly returning.
Arinaitwe, the main man of the day, was not bothered by anything as he kept going by his business and not even the flashes from a multitude of cameras from various journalists could sway him to lose focus.
Some members of the public in the room looked fearful and at one moment, the state prosecutors were heard rumbling before the session began.
“That man looks notorious and keeping him here makes this place more insecure,” one person murmured as he stealthily looked at Arinaitwe who was seated directly opposite his chair.
A group of three police counter terrorism guards were heard whispering to each other about Arinaitwe’s “prowess” as they stood in the court’s entrance trying to peep at the convict but on the other hand didn’t want to be seen looking at him.
As the court’s registrar entered to read the verdict of the three justices of the Court of Appeal, prison warders were more cautious for fear of a repeat of the 1998 attack on a Magistrate.
One warder guarded the suspect’s dock in which Arinaitwe stood whereas another stood in between the convict and the registrar.
At the end of the day, the court reduced the sentence to 24 years for the muscle bodied serial killer.
Richard Arinaitwe was arrested in July 1998 following an attack and subsequent murder of Goetz who had come to Uganda to follow up on the utilisation of HIV/AIDS funds.
On arrest, Arinaitwe was taken to Buganda Road court to record an extrajudicial statement meant to have him confess taking part in the murder.
Like the norm is, the suspect was led to the Chief Magistrate Elizabeth Alividza’s chambers and everyone including the guards were asked to excuse themselves.
The suspect used the opportunity to turn against the magistrate, grabbing a bungle from her hand that he used to try strangling her.
It took the intervention of the magistrate’s bodyguard who heard the scuffle.
Arinaitwe was later charged with Goetz’s murder and attempted murder on chief magistrate, Elizabeth Alividza and her bodyguard.
In the High Court, he was convicted of murder and later sentenced to death.
In 2006, the Supreme Court ruled that all death row inmates who had not been executed after five years prison would have their sentences reduced to life in prison which is equal to 20 years.