A Jos Chief Magistrates’ Court on Monday sentenced a 29-year-old man, Timothy Abraham, to a six-month jail term for attempting to steal a Honda Civic saloon car. The Magistrate, Mr Tijanni Zololo, who handed down the verdict, said Abraham was guilty as charged. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Abraham had pleaded guilty to the charges and begged for leniency. Zololo, who ordered that the convict should be given 20 strokes of the cane, asked the court’s registrar to destroy the master key used by the convict to commit the crime. The magistrate, who said the sentence was meant to serve as a deterrent to others, however, gave the convict an option of N15, 000 fine. Abraham, who resides at Angwan Rukuba in Jos, Plateau capital, was arraigned for mischief and theft. NAN also reports that the accused had in his plea blamed unemployment and the devil for the crime. He said: “I have never done this before, this is my first time and I promise that I will not do it again. “It is the devil that made me do it; I have been unemployed and needed some money to feed. Please have mercy on me.” Earlier, the prosecutor, Cpl. James Idoku told the court that the complainant, Mrs Gloria Ikonji reported the incident at `A’ Division Police Station on Feb. 21. Idoku said the accused had used a master key to open the complainant’s Honda Civic car valued at N700, 000 parked near the Central Bank Roundabout. He said the accused was about to drive off the car when the complainant raised an alarm and was immediately apprehended by passersby. The offences contravened the provisions of Sections 287 and 326 of the Penal Code, Laws of the Federation.