Saviour bags life imprisonment in Lagos for defiling wife’s 14-year-old niece

Saviour bags life imprisonment in Lagos for defiling wife’s 14-year-old niece

Lagos State High Court sitting in Ikeja has sentenced a man identified as Richard Saviour to life imprisonment for defiling his wife’s 14-year-old niece.

The Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Agency (DSVA) in a statement on Wednesday revealed that Saviour even infected the teenager with the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

The DSVA further said that the convict’s name will be registered in the Sexual Offenders Register as maintained by Lagos State.

Justice Oyindamola Ogala of the Lagos High Court, Ikeja, on Tuesday, sentenced Saviour to life imprisonment with the State Counsel, Mr. Ola Azeez, calling three witnesses to prove the prosecution’s case while the convict testified in his defence during the trial.

In her ruling, the judge held that the evidence provided by all the prosecution witnesses was corroborated and considered as the truth.

Justice Ogala said the victim’s evidence was corroborated by the Investigating Police Officer and Social Worker from the Lagos State Ministry of Youth and Social Welfare.

According to the judge, these established the offence of defilement against the convict.

“The testimony before the court depicts the ‘evil’ perpetrated on this young girl and how she was abused both mentally and physically by the defendant and his wife for years,” she said.

“It was shocking how she indeed ‘cried out’ for help and was betrayed by those who were supposed to help and support her.

“It is imperative to state at this juncture that the actions of the principal of PW2’s school and the social worker (PW3) are commendable as same eventually brought some succour and relief to PW2, who unfortunately has been permanently ‘scared’.

“Having carefully considered the entirety of facts before the court, it finds that in this instance, the prosecution has satisfactorily proved the one count information the defendant stands faced with.”

Ogala said the appearance of the defendant was desperate to distance himself from the allegation by denying the offences.

She stated that the defendant in his evidence before the court indeed narrated how PW2 (the survivor) had at one instance, after running from home to avoid a beating from his wife, ran to the station and he was subsequently informed that PW2 accused him of molesting her.

The court found that the totality of the testimony of the defendant who testified in his defence calling no additional witness is in essence a denial of the allegation without more.

Justice Ogala said that Saviour offered no reliable explanations to the charge aside from attempts to depict PW2 as a stubborn girl and one who stole from himself and his wife.

The judge also said in her ruling that when the police took the victim to the Mirabel Centre, she was tested and found to be HIV positive.

The judge, hence, convicted the defendant on the charge of defilement by unlawful sexual assault and sentenced him to life imprisonment in the Correctional centre.

The DSVA called for collaboration with the public to continuously break the culture of silence and report any case of domestic or sexual violence by calling its Toll Free Line on 08000 333 333.

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