A housemaid, Mary John, has been sentenced to 28 years imprisonment for stealing her mistress’ jewellery estimated at N40m.
The 30-year-old woman slumped moments after hearing the sentence, hitting her head against the carpeted surface of the court room.The impact shook the walls of the court room, but she was quickly resuscitated and carried out by prison warders.
The convict had been arraigned since September 2012 on four counts of conspiracy, entry, breaking and stealing.
The theft was said to have occurred in July 2012 at her residence in Victoria Garden City, Ajah.
Mary, however, in her oral testimony, told the court she was hypnotised by some men whom she met on the road.
The magistrate, Mrs. Aje Afunwa, in her ruling however observed that the defendant’s written statement was inconsistent with her oral evidence.
She said John had indeed confessed to the crime in her written evidence which the court would admit as true.
She said, “In her evidence, she confessed to breaking the door, climbing the house and stealing the jewellery.
“I choose to believe more the defendant’s written statement than her oral evidence which is an attempt to shift the blame to another person. I believe her oral statement is a figment of her imagination.
“More so, hypnotism or superstition is a phenomenon which is not admissible in law.”
She said, “I strongly believe that the defendant stole the items herself with the help of another person who is at large.
“I therefore find the defendant guilty on the four counts of conspiracy, breaking, felony and stealing. She is to serve a prison term of seven years on each count, with hard labour, and the terms are to run concurrently for a maximum of seven years.
“And probably while serving her jail term, she would have a change of heart and probably confess as to where the jewellery is.”