Lagos court sentences Groundnut seller to life imprisonment for defiling four-year-old

Justice Ramon Oshodi of the Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court on Monday, July 1, sentenced a 21-year-old groundnut trader, Sunday Uche, to life imprisonment for defiling a four year-old-girl

 

Uche was dragged before the court on a count of defilement by penetration preferred against him by the state, to which he pleaded not guilty. According to the prosecution counsel, I.D. Solarin, the offence committed by Uche contravenes Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State. The court heard that the incident occurred on February 2, 2017, in the house of the convict.

 

Uche, who worked as a groundnut trader, defiled the minor in his home after she came to beg for groundnuts.

 

“I was at home when one small boy brought a four-year-old girl to my house to beg for groundnuts, so I decided to have sexual intercourse with her. After everything, I gave her some groundnuts. The small baby cried. I knew what I was doing was wrong but I was so eager, but I did not release inside the vagina. After releasing sperm, I became weak, surprisingly the mother of the girl came to my house to look for me,” he said.

 

Delivering his judgment, Justice Oshodi Ramon held that the evidence presented before the court proved beyond doubt that he committed the crime.

 

“Based on the evidence presented, a statement of the IPO of the Sabo Police Command, Lagos State, a statement from the victim’s mother, the police referral for medical examination, a detailed medical report from Mirabel Centre dated February 2, 2017, and the defendant’s statements, I find the defendant guilty and convict him under Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos.

 

This is a grave offence that carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment. The parts of this case are alarming: you took advantage of a four-year-old girl who came to you simply asking for groundnut. You exploited her vulnerability and trust, in the most heinous way imaginable. The physical and psychological harm you have inflicted on this young victim is immeasurable and likely to have a long-lasting effect.”

 

The judge then convicted Uche on one count of defilement by penetration and sentenced him to life imprisonment, ordering that the name of the convict should be registered in the Lagos State Sexual Offences Register.

 

The presiding judge also dismissed his plea for mercy.

“I have considered other factors like the lack of previous convictions and your plea for mercy and sentencing. However, the aggravating factors outweigh any other circumstances.” the judge said

 

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