Crime & Punishment of Thursday, 20 March 2014
The Circuit Court in Kumasi yesterday sentenced three persons to a total of 60 years in prison for ransacking a boutique at Asafo in Kumasi and making away with items worth GH¢69,400.
The convicts, Kwame Sekyere and Kweku Poku, both car dealers, and Ibrahim Alhassan, unemployed, pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to steal, unlawful entry and stealing and were convicted on their own pleas.
They were each sentenced to 20 years with hard labour on each count. The sentences are to run concurrently. Sekyere and Alhassan, who were both charged with a fourth count of possessing a pistol with live ammunition without lawful authority, pleaded not guilty to the count.
For this charge, they are to re-appear before the court, presided over by Mr D.W.P. Amedior, on April 16, 2014.
A fourth accused person, Nicholas Adu-Gyamfi, a trader, however, pleaded not guilty to two counts of conspiracy and stealing.
He was granted bail in the sum of GH¢10,000 to re-appear on April 16.
Passing sentence, the presiding judge said although there was no evidence before him that the accused were known to the law, their actions showed that they were not first-time offenders and the sentences were to serve as a deterrent to others.
Presenting the facts, Deputy Superintendent of Police, Ms Doris Amewu, told the court that Sekyere and Poku were resident at Ampayoo and Ahinsan respectively, while the complainant, Fredua Agyeman, was a trader and owner of a boutique at Asafo.
She said about 12:30 a.m. on March 15, 2014, Sekyere, Alhassan and Poku, with the aid of the shaft of a KIA Pride saloon car, unlocked the padlocks to the boutique.
They entered the boutique, packed the items into fertiliser sacks and loaded them into two vehicles belonging to Sekyere and Poku.
According to DSP Amewu, Sekyere and Alhassan drove the car with some of the items towards Sekyere’s house at Ampayoo.
However, she said, they were intercepted on suspicion by the police while the two were on their way home.
When they were stopped, they abandoned the car and took to their heels and the car was impounded and sent to the police station.
DSP Amewu said Poku, who had already taken some of the items to Sekyere’s house and left for an undisclosed place, was called back by Sekyere to take him to some place.
She said it was while they were discussing their escapade that the police had a tip-off of their hideout and arrested them.
She said during a search of the room, some of the stolen items packed in the fertiliser sacks were retrieved, with the pistol and the five live ammunitions.
The items stolen were 200 pairs of jeans, 100 pairs of men’s shoes, 80 T-shirts, 60 shirts, 30 men’s wristwatches and 80 belts.
The rest were 30 bottles of perfumes, 25 suits and 160 men’s shirts.