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General News of Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Source: GNA

British Paedophile jailed

Accra, Feb. 19, GNA- An Accra Circuit Court on Tuesday jailed Thomas Alan Tichler, a 57-year-old British Volunteer to serve four years for causing harm and indecently assaulting a three-year old girl at North Legon.

The court sentenced Tichler to four years imprisonment on the charge of causing harm and two years for indecently assaulting the victim. Sentences were however to run concurrently and conviction took effect from November 2, 2007 when the accused was remanded. Mr. Tony Lithur, one of Tichler's lawyers told the media that he would appeal against the decision of the court. Tichler, who pleaded not guilty arrived in Ghana on September 25, last year to work with Volunteer Service Overseas and was attached to a firm where he was assisting in refining its internal policies and procedures.

Prosecution called seven witnesses to make their case. Handing the down the sentence, the court presided over Mrs. Georgina Mensah Datsa said Tichler did cause harm to the victim by rubbing or putting his finger in the urethral area.

The court said, it was a fact from the offence that the victim bled for about a week and the victim's parents contemplated about surgery but that was not carried out because the bleeding stopped. It further pointed out the intelligent and consistent evidence adduced by the victim debunked assertions that the victim could have been coached.

The facts of the case are that the victim is a three-year-old girl who lives with her parents at North Legon.

The complainant, victim's father is the human resources manager in an organisation to which accused was attached as a consultant. On October 13, 2007, accused visited the complainant's house at the invitation of the complainant. While Tichler was in the complainant's house, the complainant went out to buy some items and left Tichler in the sitting room with the victim and two elder siblings. The victim's mother had gone to the market and returned after the complainant had left the house.

When she (victim's mother) returned to the house, the accused asked her for water to wash his hands which she provided. Later the victim told her mother that she wanted to urinate. The victim discovered blood in her panties and told her mother who asked her what had happened.

The victim told her mother that Tichler had inserted his fingers in her vagina and when confronted Tichler denied the offence. The complainant reported the matter to the Legon Police and a medical report was issued to the complainant who took the victim to the 37 Military Hospital where he was examined and treated.

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