Crime & Punishment of Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Source: GNA

Court jails three, 85 years for stealing Toyota Camry

An Accra Circuit Court on Monday sentenced three persons to a total of 85 years imprisonment for conspiracy to commit crime and robbery.

Robert Kofi Andoh, driver, Harrison Brown Adarkwah, unemployed and Benjamin Aidoo, footballer; were said to have conspired and robbed an unregistered Toyota Camry Saloon car valued at Ghc50,000.00 belonging to one Stephen Kweku.

The court presided over by Mr Francis Obiri sentenced the three to 25 years imprisonment for conspiracy while Robert and Benjamin were also sentenced to 30 years imprisonment each for robbery to run concurrently.

Mr Obiri said robbery had become a national issue and young people these days had taken to robbing innocent people, sometimes leaving them in very bad situations.

He said the court had not yet figured out whether it was the desire to get rich easily and quickly or whether it was due to the impact of western influence.

He said: “I don’t think the right way to make money is through robbery. The convicts need a harsher sentence to transform them as well as serve as a deterrent to other people.”

Chief Superintendent of Police Tuaruka Duuti said the complainant is a trader living at Alhaji near Tabora, in Accra; while Robert, Harrison and Benjamin live at Isreal, Achimota Mile 7 and Alhaji, Tabora respectively.

He said on June 19, 2013, Robert and Harrison planned to rob the complainant of his unregistered Toyota Camry Saloon and contacted Benjamin and one other now at large to assist to which they agreed.

He said on June 21, at about 2330 hours, Robert armed himself with a cutlass and padlock whiles Benjamin also armed himself with pepper spray, laid an ambush at the complainant's house “to be alerted by Harrison when he is getting closer to his house”.

He said at about 0400 hours when the complainant arrived home, he realized that his gate was locked, so he got out to open it only to be attacked by the first and third accused from behind.

Chief Superintendent Duuti said they took his car and bolted with it, and picked Harrison on their way home.

He said the convicts later gave the car out on loan to a friend, with Harrison claiming ownership of the car.

But the friend, unhappy with the terms of the loan, suspected that the car did not belong to the convicts and reported the matter to the Nsawam Police.

He said upon the report, Robert and Harrison were arrested and sent to the Nsawam Police station.

The prosecution told the court that on July 6, 2013, Robert led the police to the house of Benjamin and on seeing the police he escaped, but was later arrested on July 10 at his hideout.

He said in their caution statement, Robert and Benjamin admitted the offence and stated that it was Harrison who contracted them to rob the complainant of his car.

Chief Superintendent Duuti said during investigation, it was revealed that Robert and Benjamin as well one other now at large had on June 19, and June 20, 2013, respectively laid an ambush near the house of the complainant, but unfortunately, he did not go home on those days.