Cook jailed 14 years for beating 8-year-old brother to death over meat


A Lagos High Court in Igbosere on Monday sentenced a cook, Janet James, to 14 years imprisonment for allegedly beating her eight-year-old brother, Saviour James, whom she said stole meat from a pot of soup on August 10, 2009.

The 34-year-old cook had pleaded guilty to an amended one-count charge of manslaughter.

Justice Adedayo Akintoye said the jail term would begin from August 21, 2009 when she was remanded by a magistrates’ court before the case was transferred to the high court in 2013.

“I note also the fact that the defendant has been in remand custody for many years. As a result therefore, the defendant Janet James is hereby sentenced to a term of 14 years. The term of imprisonment is to run from the date of remand, which is August 21st 2009. This is the judgment of the court,” the judge said.

During trial, prosecution counsel, Abiola Gbadamosi, told the court that James committed the offence at Ilupeju area of Lagos State.

James, according to police, confessed thus: “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 8pm after several warnings not to steal meat from the pot failed. I hit him with this little pestle (turning stick). But he did not die on the spot. At about 11pm, he woke up to urinate.

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

“Then I waited until about 5am before carrying him on my back and dumped him inside the premises of insurance firm and returned home.”