A judge of Mararaba Grade 1 Area Court sitting in Nasarawa State, Mr Albert Maga, on Friday paid the N500 option fine he imposed on a convict.
Maga had sentence, Chita Ugochukwu, 20, to three months imprisonment for stealing 54 pieces of apples.
He, however, advised the convict to go back to his village rather than stealing since he had no job.
The convict of no fixed address was arraigned on a one-count charge of theft.
Maga held that the convict understood the charge read to him and pleaded guilty to the charge.
He held that the confession made by the convict at the `A’ Divisional Police Station, Nasarawa State, confirmed that he committed the offence as he equally pleaded for leniency.
“In passing sentence, I take into consideration the principles governing sentencing.
“Since you didn’t waste the time of the court by pleading guilty and asked for leniency, there must be a balanced justice while condemning the act.
“The accused, from all indication, appears to be a first time offender as no previous record of him is before the court and the complainant has forgiven him.
“I, hereby, sentence you to three months in prison with an option to pay fine of N500,’’ Maga held.
Earlier, the prosecuting officer, Cpl. Friday Adaji, had told the court that Ugochukwu stole the apples belonging to one Monday Ifeanyi, on June 27 at Mararaba.