A 37-year-old driver, identified as Femi Tonade, was on Tuesday humbled with a jail term of 12 years by an Ikeja High Court for defiling a 14-year-old housekeeper of his employer.
The presiding judge, Justice Kudirat Jose, had earlier sentenced the accused to life imprisonment before she reduced it to 12 years, after hearing the plea for mercy by the defence counsel.
She said: “It is easy to plead for people but it is easier for people to offend. You just don’t see a child and decide to have forceful carnal knowledge of her.
“Section 137 of the Criminal Law of Lagos recommends a term of life in prison for the offence of defilement.
“However, after listening to your allocutus, the court is going to be lenient with the defendant and sentence him to 12 years in prison.
“The sentence will commence from the first day he was incarcerated,” she reiterated.
Justice Jose emphasised that the evidence of the little girl against the defendant was cogent and believable” hence the sentence was proportionate with the terms of imprisonment handed the convict.
It was learnt that Tonade committed the offence on December 1, 2015 at Iju-Ishaga, Lagos.
The prosecutor, Mrs A.B. Awosika, told the court that “the convict crept upstairs without his employer’s knowledge, physically restrained the housekeeper and had forceful carnal knowledge of her,” she said.
It was learnt that after sexually abusing her, she had to report the driver to her and was later arrested by the police.
To confirm the damage, a medical test revealed that the housekeeper was actually defiled.
Justice Jose pointed out that the offence violated Section 137 of the Criminal Code of Lagos State.
Counsel to the convict, Mrs Olabimpe Bamboye, asked the court to temper justice with mercy.
“My Lord, please temper justice with mercy. The defendant is a driver; he has a family and an aged father whom he takes care of.
“Ever since he has been in custody, the defendant has not been able to take care of his family,” she pleaded.