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18-year-old jailed for stealing 4 spoons of Milo and 5 pieces of cloth released

Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng with Joyce Barnes play videoIbrahim Oppong Kwarteng with Joyce Barnes

Today happens to be the last day Joyce Barnes spends in prison for unlawfully entering her tenant’s room to steal.

Joyce, an 18-year-old single mother was jailed for stealing four spoons of Milo and 5 pieces of cloth from her tenant.

The single mother of one was charged by the Swedru Circuit court with unlawfully entry and stealing; her punishment was a one-year prison sentence and a fine of nine thousand six hundred Ghana cedis as cost of the clothes and other items or in default her 4-bedroom house will be sold to realize the money.

Crime Check Foundation (crimecheckghana) through the benevolence of individuals came to her aid and paid the cost.

Joyce left the Nsawam Female Prison with excitement and grateful for a second chance in life.

“I am very grateful to Crime Check Foundation and everybody who has shown me love and support, thank you all,” she said.

According to her, she wants to learn how to sew as a trade to support herself and her child.


Joyce is the adopted child of the late Madam Sarah Barsah who willed her four-bedroom house at Agona Swedru and an amount of twelve thousand eight hundred Ghana cedis to her.

The family of the deceased fought with Joyce for the property till the court ruled in Joyce favour, the family members connived with a tenant in Joyce’s house to put a charge of stealing on the poor girl. The court orders Joyce to pay nine thousand six hundred Ghana Cedis or in default, her 4-bedroom house will be sold to defray the cost.

But according to Joyce, she took four spoons of the milo to feed her hungry child and sold five pieces of cloth to pay for her property rate.

Joyce’s case is a classic example underpinning the call for the passage of the non-custodial sentencing bill. Joyce a nursing mother could have been made to sweep the streets rather than jailing her for a year.

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