Woman who beat her younger brother to death for stealing meat from pot of soup sentenced to 14 years imprisonment

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A 34-year-old cook, Janet James, was yesterday sentenced to 14 years imprisonment by a Lagos State High Court sitting at Igbosere for beating her eight-year-old brother, Saviour James, to death.

Janet James, it was gathered, beat Saviour to death for stealing meat from a pot of soup.

James, who has been standing trial since 2013, was convicted by Justice Adedayo Akintoye after she entered a plea bargain with the prosecution and later changed her plea from not guilty to guilty leading to reduction of her charges to a count charge of manslaughter.

The convict, who committed the offence on August 10, 2009, was remanded in prison custody on August 21, 2009, by a Magistrate’s court.

However, James was re-arraigned before Justice Akintoye, in 2013 on a one-count charge of murder contrary to Section 317 of the Criminal Code, Laws of Lagos State, 2003.

She had pleaded not guilty to the charge.

The Lagos State prosecuting counsel, Mrs Abiola Gbadamosi, had told the court that James committed the offence at about 8 pm on August 10, 2009, at Ilupeju area of Lagos State.

How she killed him

Gbadamosi said the convict killed Saviour by beating him with a stick after accusing him of stealing meat from a pot of soup. She then dumped his body in the premises of an insurance company in Ilupeju.

The convict, in her confessional statement to the police, said: “I carried him (the deceased) on my back and walked a long distance before throwing him across the fence. I decided to dump him there because the offices had long been closed.

“He used to steal. I even warned him when I went to the village to pick him. I beat him on Monday night at about 8 pm, after several warnings not to steal meat from the pot failed. I hit him with this little turning stick. But he did not die on the spot. At about 11 pm, he woke up to urinate.

“But when I woke up at about 2 am, I discovered he was foaming from the mouth. I called him but there was no response. I tried opening his mouth and even hit him, yet there was no movement.

While delivering judgement, the judge, held that the 14-year imprisonment will take effect from August 21, 2009, when James was remanded by a magistrate’s court.

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