A Keke NAPEP driver, Blessing Kingsley was on Monday sentenced to life imprisonment by a High Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital. The sentence was handed over to Kingsley for raping a 14-year-old girl and infecting her with Hepatitis B.
Justice Bode Adegbehingbe who gave the judgement after a two-year trial said the weighty evidence proved without a doubt that Kingsley was guilty of the one-count charge of rape.
It was gathered that on July 12 2018, the 14-year-old victim while on her way home from her grandmother’s shop in Ondo town, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State was accosted by the culprit, a family acquaintance who offered to take her home.
Instead, Kingsley was said to have driven her to his house under the pretext of making her greet his family and in the process forcefully had sex with her when they got to Kingsley’s abode.
After the incident, a report was immediately made at the Funmbi Fagun Police Station while a medical examination confirmed she was raped and had also been infected with Hepatitis B by her rapist.
Kingsley was arrested and arraigned before Justice Adegbehingbe on a one-count charge of rape, an offence contrary to and punishable under section 358 of the criminal laws of Ondo State 2006.
The suspect who was represented by a counsel from the Legal Aid Council was the only witness for himself while the prosecution called four witnesses including the victim, Sergeant Olanrewaju Agbelusi who arrested Kingsley, a photographer and a medical doctor, Dr Jegede who was subpoenaed to speak to the medical records.
The prosecution also brought to court as an exhibit, the victim’s blood-soaked underwears, photographs of the scene showing a blood-stained mattress, and her medical report after the incident among others.
After the trial which lasted for two years, Justice Adegbehingbe in his judgement said Kingsley gave weak and pitiable evidence as well as criminally exploited his familiarity with the victim despite claiming not to know her before the incident.
Representatives of the Legal Aid Council, Toyin Asake said Kingsley still has a window of appeal but the state counsel who prosecuted the case Stella Adegoke described his conviction as another success in the fight against rape