A 39-year-old labourer, Adewale Adegoke, was on Monday sentenced to one-year imprisonment by a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court in Lagos for snatching a handbag from a lady at a bus stop.
Magistrate Tokunbo Omoyele sentenced Adegoke following his guilty plea to a three-count charge of conspiracy, assault and stealing.
“The defendant has admitted that he committed the offences and also admitted that the handbag minus its contents was returned to the complainant.
“However, after closely studying the demeanour of the defendant, he seemed upset that he was the only one out of his fellow accomplices that was standing trial for the crime.
“I have noted that the accused has a criminal record and comes across as a hardened criminal.
“He is hereby sentenced to one-year imprisonment each for conspiracy, assault and stealing, which are to be served concurrently”, Omoyele said.
Earlier, the prosecutor, Sgt. Daniel Ighodalo, had told the court that Adegoke of No. 81. Ileole Idile St., Epe in Lagos State, committed the offences alongside others now at large at 11p.m. on March 5, along the Lekki/Epe Expressway, by Elf Area, in Lagos.
He said the convict assaulted the complainant, one Miss Joy Azubuike, by forcefully shoving her, in order to snatch her handbag, while she was standing at a bus stop.
Ighodalo said that the complainant raised an alarm immediately her bag was snatched, which alerted passers-by, as well as the policemen on patrol, who went in search of the convict.
“The police and the passers-by were able to catch the convict who was still in possession of the bag which had been emptied of its contents”, he said.
The prosecutor said the missing valuables in the bag were: a Nokia 210 cell phone, a Samsung Galaxy cell phone and N18,000 cash.
“The total value of the stolen items, including the cash, was N76,500”, he said.
Ighodalo added that when the convict was interrogated by the police, he told them that all the valuables had been handed over to other members of his gang, who were now at large.
The prosecutor said that the offences violated Section 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 285 recommends three years’ imprisonment for anyone convicted of stealing. (NAN)