A Magistrates’ Court in Plateau State has sentenced a 40-year old man, Lavwet Kelap to two years imprisonment for stealing a goat valued at N40, 000.
The presiding judge, Magistrate, Luther Caleb, in the alternative, ordered the convict to pay a fine of N5, 000 and N33, 000 as compensation to the owner of the goat.
Police Prosecutor, Hosea Selbut, told the court that the convict stole the goat belonging to his neighbour, Buler Nengwer on May 29.
Selbut said the convict was arrested in a market in Mikang Local Government Area of the state where he sold the goat for N20, 000.
When the one-count charge was read to the Kelap, he pleaded guilty, and urged the magistrate to be lenient with him.
Kelap told the court that he was tempted to commit the offence due to the ailment of his son whom he claimed was on admission at Shendam General Hospital, Pankshin.
“I stole the goat and sold it for N20, 000 at Mikang Market so that I can settle the hospital bill of my sick son who was on admission at Shendam General Hospital.
“I am very sorry for what I have done; I promise not to do such a bad and shameful thing again,’’ he said.
The prosecutor had said Nengwer on May 29 reported to the police that one of his goats was missing.
“My Lord, the police swung into action and the convict was arrested at Mikang market where he had sold the goat and used the money to purchase some items.
“But since the accused has pleaded guilty to the offence, I apply that the court should go ahead and give him a summary trial in accordance with the law,’’ Selbut said.
Selbut told the court that the offence was punishable under Section 287 of the Penal Code.
The magistrate then sentenced him accordingly.