A 34-year-old cook, Janet James, was on Monday sentenced to 14 years in jail by a Lagos State High Court in Igbosere for beating her eight-year-old brother to death.
It was learnt that Janet had on August 10, 2009, around 8pm in the Ilupeju area of the state, beat her brother, Saviour James, to death with a stirring rod for allegedly stealing meat from a pot of soup.
She was said to have dumped his corpse on the premises of an insurance company in Ilupeju after committing the crime.
According to her statement to the police, Janet said she had warned Saviour to desist from stealing before she beat him, adding that he did not die immediately.
She added that it was when she woke up to urinate at midnight that she noticed that Saviour was foaming in the mouth and all efforts to resuscitate him proved abortive.
Convicting her on Monday, Justice Adedayo Akintoye noted that the defendant entered a plea bargain agreement with the prosecution and pleaded guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter.
The judge noted that the agreement stated that the defendant had shown remorse for the offence, adding that she gave an undertaking to be of good behaviour upon the completion of the jail term.
She added that the sentence would take effect from August 21, 2009, when Janet was remanded by a magistrates’ court.
The judge stated, “In view of this, therefore, the defendant, Janet James, is hereby found guilty of manslaughter contrary to Section 317 of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State, 2003, and is accordingly convicted of same.
“I have taken into consideration that this is a 2013 case. I have also been guided by the plea and sentencing agreement entered into by the prosecution, the defendant, Janet James, and the defence counsel.
“I note also the fact that the defendant has been in remand custody for many years. As a result, therefore, the defendant, Janet James, is hereby sentenced to a term of 14 years. The term of imprisonment is to run from the date of remand, which is August 21, 2009. This is the judgment of the court.”