For allegedly stealing a neighbour’s chewing gum, a girl was beaten and injured with a hot knife by her 25-year-old aunt, Loveth Ozoihu.

Ozoihu, who was arraigned in an Ikeja Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday, however, denied the offence.

It was gathered that Ozoihu, a resident of Josiah Aina Street, Alakuko, a suburb of Lagos, reportedly beat her seven-year-old niece to a pulp, then burnt her with a red-hot knife from a cooking gas fire.

The defendant, who is facing a charge of assault, occasioning harm, according to the Police Prosecutor, Inspector Benson Emuerhi, committed the offence on February 2, at her residence.

“The defendant was, however, arrested by the police at Alakuko Division, following a tip-off from a neighbour, one Nmasi Okwudili, that they should rescue the victim, who was being abused by her aunt,” Emuerhi said.

He said the defendant beat the victim and used a red-hot knife to burn her buttocks for allegedly stealing her neighbour’s chewing gum.

Emuerhi said the defendant had earlier used cable wire to beat the victim for taking fish from her stock and eating without her permission.

The offence, he said, contravened Section 173 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2015, which prescribes a two-year prison term.

The defendant was granted bail in the sum of N200,000 by Chief Magistrate Olufunke Sule-Amzat.

Sule-Amzat ordered the defendant to provide two responsible sureties as part of the bail conditions.

She said the sureties must be gainfully employed and show evidence of tax payments to the Lagos State Government; and adjourned the case until March 7, for trial.

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