Crime & Punishment of Saturday, 2 June 2012
Kofi Safo, a 26- year- old ex-convict, was on Friday sentenced to 10 years imprisonment for stealing cassava from a farm at Kwahu Bepong by an Mpraeso Circuit Court.
Safo, who had just returned from prison after serving a five- year sentence for stealing, pleaded guilty to the charge and was sentenced on his own plea.
Police Chief Inspector Andrews Yirenkyi, told the court, presided over by Mr. Kweku Osei that on April 19, this year, the complainant, Ama Asiedua, a farmer, reported to the Bepong Police that Safo had stolen a quantity of cassava from her farm near Bepong.
He said after receiving the complaint, the police accompanied Asiedua to the farm and found that 25 cassava plants had been uprooted and the crops taken away.
Chief Inspector Yirenkyi said days later, a witness in the case met Safo and asked why he stole the cassava from the complainant’s farm and he admitted the offence.
Safo then apologized and pleaded for forgiveness in the presence of two other witnesses.
He said on May 14, at about 12.30 hours, while policemen were on duty at the charge office, they saw Safo carrying a sack containing cassava and tomatoes and heading towards the town.
When the police tried to stop Safo to find out what he was carrying, he dropped the luggage and ran away.
Chief Inspector Yirenkyi said on May 18, the police had information that Safo was enjoying himself at a drinking bar in the town and the police rushed to the place but he managed to escape arrest.
He told that court that some residents in the town managed to arrest Safo and handed him over to the police; in his caution statement, he admitted the offence.**