Man Who Killed Wife For Infecting Him With HIV Gets Death Sentence
“In view of the mandatory sentence for murder in Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011,the defendant, Katungi Phillips is hereby sentenced to death, may the Lord have mercy on his soul,” Justice Raliatu Adebiyi said, as she read the sentence.
Mr Katungi Phillips' journey to the hangman began in 2014 after he tested positive to HIV.
Phillip, who had apparently remained faithful to his wife, Justina James, could not believe where the virus came from.
When he allegedly found out he was infected with HIV virus by his wife, he could not hold back his anger and what followed had brought him before an Ikeja High Court on Tuesday for the final ruling of the court on the matter.
He had stabbed his wife to death, but had his own side of the story which he shared with the court.
According to the prosecution led by Mrs O. R Ahmed-Muili, the convict committed the offence at 3.21 a.m. on July 26, 2014 at his residence at Pako House, Oniru, Lagos.
Ahmed-Muili said that the convict, who had been married to Justina for two-years, stabbed her with a kitchen knife after discovering that she had allegedly infected him with HIV.
“After discovering that she had allegedly infected him with the virus, the deceased threatened to leave him for another man.
“He stabbed his wife with a kitchen knife during the ensuing argument and he also attempted to kill himself by stabbing himself in the abdomen with the knife,” she said.
The police arraigned Phillips on February 8, 2016.
The prosecution called four witnesses, three police officers and the sister of the deceased to testify during the trial.
Inspector Alexander Onoja, the Investigating Police Officer (IPO), during his testimony at the trial, said the defendant confessed to the police to have stabbed his wife.
“He confessed that he murdered his wife because he discovered they were both HIV positive and he was infected through her.
“He alleged that she informed him that she was leaving him for another man,” he said.
The IPO said that when the police visited the crime scene Justina was already dead.
The police officer also said Phillips was found laying beside her corpse with a knife wound to his abdomen.
Philips, however, in his submission during the trial, using the defence of provocation, said his wife was stabbed while they were arguing over his missing mobile phone.
“We were arguing over my missing phone, she stabbed me with the kitchen knife, I grabbed the knife from her hands and stabbed her once,” Phillips told the court
Justice Adebiyi, after hearing the testimonies sentenced Phillips, saying he has been found guilty of murder.
“The prosecution was able to prove by cogent circumstantial evidence that the defendant intended to kill the deceased.
“I hereby find the defendant guilty of the murder of Justina James.
“In view of the mandatory sentence for murder in Section 221 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State 2011,the defendant, Katungi Phillips is hereby sentenced to death, may the Lord have mercy on his soul,” Adebiyi said.
Adebiyi, in her judgment rejected Phillips defence of provocation.
The judge said that the multiple stab wounds inflicted on Justina by Phillips were excessive in comparison to the single stab wound the convict sustained.
Adebiyi said that based on the evidence before her, the defence of provocation was not plausible and that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt