Guard sentenced to life in jail for defiling five-year-Girl inside Church

Guard sentenced to life in jail for defiling five-year-Girl inside Church

An Ikeja Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court has sentenced a security guard, Saviour Udoh, to life imprisonment for sexually assaulting a five-year old minor (name withheld) in a church premises.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Justice Rahman Oshodi sentenced Udoh to lifetime jail on the sole charge of sexual assault by penetration, preferred against him by the Lagos State Government.

Oshodi, in his judgment, held that the prosecution had been able to prove the charge against Udoh, beyond reasonable doubts.

He said the court had carefully considered the evidence presented during the trial which included the convict’s confessional statement, the testimony of the prosecutrix (survivor), her mother, the Investigative Police Officer (IPO) and the medical evidence.

According to him, the crime committed by the convict was a grave one, as it involved the sexual exploitation of a vulnerable child.

“The prosecutrix, who was only five years old at the time of the incident, trusted you as ‘Uncle Saviour’ and her mother entrusted you with her care but you breached that trust most disgustingly by sexually assaulting the child in a place of worship.

“The impact of your actions on the prosecutrix and her family cannot be overstated because the prosecutrix’s mother, in her testimony, stated that she was still taking the victim to the hospital three years after the incident and that the prosecutrix was still having discharges.

“This statement highlights the long-lasting physical and emotional trauma inflicted upon the child and the ongoing medical issues she faces as a result of your actions.

“Sexual assault by penetration is a serious offence that attracts a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment under section 261 of the Lagos State Criminal Law (supra) and this severe punishment reflects society’s condemnation of such heinous acts and the need to protect our children from sexual predators,” he said.

Oshodi said he had considered the aggravating factors such as the age of the prosecutrix, the breach of trust, and the location of the offence in determining the convict’s sentence.

He said he had considered the mitigating factors, included the convict’s lack of previous convictions and his plea for mercy at sentencing.

The judge, however, said the aggravating factors far outweighed any mitigating circumstances as the severity of his crime and its impact on the prosecutrix, her family and the larger society could not be ignored.

“Therefore, having found you guilty of sexual assault by penetration, I now sentence you, Saviour Udoh, to life imprisonment, as mandated by section 261 of the Criminal Law (supra).

“You will serve this sentence in a Maximum-Security Custodial Centre or wherever the Nigerian Correctional Service may direct you and your name will be added to the register of sex offenders.

“I hope that this sentence sends a strong message to society that such crimes against children will not be tolerated and that the justice system will hold offenders accountable for their actions,” he said.

The State Lead Counsel, Mr Babajide Boye, had presented four witnesses to testify against the convict during trial, while the convict and his friend testified for defence.

The prosecutor told the court that the convict committed the offence on Dec. 12, 2018, at The Redeemed Christian Church of God on Osifila Street, Anifowose, Ikeja, Lagos.

The prosecution submitted that the convict sexually assaulted the five-year-old girl by penetrating her anus with his fingers.(NAN)

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