A Rivers State High Court sitting in Port Harcourt, and presided over by Justice Adolphus Enebeli, yesterday, sentenced Mr. Gracious David-West, a serial killer, to death by hanging, after about six months of trial. David-West was charged with 10-count charge of reported murder and attempted murder of young women in hotels in Port Harcourt, the state capital. Initially, the serial killer had confessed killing 15 young women in different hotels in the state within two months.
The bodies of these ladies he killed were found strangled with a white piece of cloth tied on their legs and necks, hands. He also explained to the authorities that he usually tore the bed sheets of the same bed he made love with the women, and threatened to kill them of they shout for help before proceeding to tie them after which he took their phones, ATM cards and jewelery. None of the women he lured into hotel rooms made it out alive except one Benita Etim, who managed to escape unharmed, for which the court convicted him for attempted murder.
Etim, a 23-year-old sexworker, was absent throughout the trial and the prosecution did not know her whereabouts even though she was supposed to appear as a witness, having being asked not to leave town. Justice Enebele, while delivering his judgement, said the suspect was convicted of the murder of 11 young women and attempted murder of a prospective victim identified as Benita Etim in a hotel in 2019.
He added that David-West was guilty of the crime which was carried out between July 30 and September, 2019 and would die by hanging. “Gracious David-West should be hanged on his neck until he is dead,” he said. The judge stated that the prosecution team was able to convince the court that David-West actually killed the women at various hotel rooms in Port Harcourt and other parts of the state.