An Ikeja High Court on Tuesday sentenced a 36-year-old woman, Stella Gilbert, to death for stabbing her neighbour, Mrs Stella Godwin, to death during a fight at their residence in Ajegunle, Lagos.
The fight was over a bench in the premises of their single room apartments also known as ‘face’me-I-face you’.
The fight was caused by an argument over who should be using the bench belonging to their former neighbour.
Justice Raliatu Adebiyi sentenced Gilbert after dismissing her claim of self-defence.
The judge held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.
“The defendant in this case used a knife on the deceased; by any standard, a knife is a lethal weapon.
”The evidence of PW2 (Prosecution Witness 2), the cousin of PW1 (the deceased’s husband), and that of PW3, the female police officer, was that the deceased was stabbed on the chest.
“The coroner’s report tendered in evidence by PW4 confirmed that the deceased was stabbed on the chest.
“The chest is where the heart is; the defendant, by stabbing the deceased on the chest, a very fragile part of the body, clearly intended to cause the most harm to her.
“The death of the deceased occurred as a result of grievous injury caused by the defendant. The defendant is culpable of the offence of murder,” she said.
Following the conviction of the Gilbert, her counsel, Mr Y. E. Yusuf, prayed the court to temper justice with mercy.
“The defendant has been in detention for six years; during that time, she lost both parents and her brother. She is in her late 30s and unmarried, she has gone through a lot.
“She was not harbouring the intent to murder when the incident occurred.
“I want my lord to temper justice with mercy and refrain from giving the defendant the maximum sentence,” Yusuf urged.
However, the judge passed death sentence on Gilbert.
“The defendant, Stella Gilbert, is hereby sentenced to death. May God that grants life have mercy on your soul,” she said.