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Tabloid News of Tuesday, 16 April 2002

Source: Chronicle

Sheep-Thief Collapses in Court

A STIR was yesterday caused at the Koforidua Community Tribunal when a second time sheep thief fainted, following the doubling of his custodial sentence from 24 months to 48 months in hard labour.

As court officials ran helter skelter, a large crowd surged onto the premises from various parts of the neighbourhood as well as the busy markets of Koforidua, since yesterday was a market day.

Before David Ekutor, the unemployed thief, could be revived, every available iced water seller in the neighbourhood of the tribunal had been called in an SOS to donate their bags of water to be poured on him.

In the end, not only was he soaked in water, but the whole floor of the courtroom had also been submerged under water.

Then prosecuting Inspector S.K. Bonsu escorted David towards the prison to begin his four-year term intact.

According to the prosecutor, Ekutor stole the two sheep on Sunday April 14 at Akyem Tafo where he lived.

He quickly bolted with the animals worth ?750,000, putting their owner, Bernet Agyei, on a temporary wild goose chase in the town.

Upon a tip-off, Agyei rushed to Koforidua and straight to kraal where he found his two sheep, mixed with cattle in what looked like an unusual farming practice.

Further investigations confirmed that the accused had stolen and was arranging to sell the two sheep.

When he was arrested and arraigned before the court, he pleaded guilty with the explanation that "I beg the court; I don't know what is wrong with me," an explanation dismissed by the court with the contempt it deserved.

Hardly had the Tribunal Chairman, George Krofa Addae, slapped a 24-month imprisonment in hard labour on Ekutor than the prosecutor stepped in politely with an objection.

According to the policeman, this was not the suspect's first time; in fact, he had returned from prison only recently, after stealing some sheep.

The prosecutor invoked Section 300, Act 30 of the Criminal Code to "enhance" the sentence accordingly.

The chairman obliged and then David Ekutor fainted, starting the pandemonium and desperate measures.