A motor mechanic at Nkrankwanta, near Dormaa-Ahenkro in the Brong Ahafo Region, has been jailed for 10 years by a Circuit Court for defiling a seven-year-old girl.
Braimah Zapanigre pleaded not guilty to defiling the girl at Nkrankwanta on July 27 this year.
The Dormaa Circuit Court presided by Mr. Alexander Osei-Tutu handed down the sentence following enough evidence adduced by four witnesses and a medical report on the victim that confirmed her hymen had been forcibly broken.
During the trial the convict failed to call any witness but insisted that the victim was a witch and thief who was out to frame him up.
The court heard that on July 27 the complainant, who lived in the same house with the victim at Nkrankwanta, left her to attend to her blind grandmother whilst he (complainant) went to the farm.
Zapanigre, a tenant of the complainant, came home at about 1100 hours that day and called the victim into his bedroom under the pretext of sending her on an errand.
The victim, sensing no danger, obtained permission from her grandmother and went into the convict’s room.
When she entered the room the convict covered her mouth with a piece of cloth, carried her onto his bed, removed her pant and forcibly had sexual intercourse with her.
After the act, the prosecutor said, Zapanigre promised to give her GHC100 and threatened to kill her if she disclosed her ordeal to anyone.
The victim, however, defied the threat and narrated her ordeal to her grandmother and later the complainant who reported the case to the police at Nkrankwanta who arrested the convict and charged him.
In another development, the court sentenced two men to a total of 21 years imprisonment for conspiracy to steal, stealing and dishonestly receiving stolen fowls at Diabaa, near Dormaa-Ahenkro.
Obed Appiah, 23, received 16 years for two counts of conspiracy to steal and unlawful entry while Kwame Kankam, 32, was slapped with five years for conspiracy to steal and dishonestly receiving stolen items.
Police Inspector George Kumah told the court the complainant was a poultry farmer who lived in Diabaa where the two accused persons also resided.
He said for two months, poultry farmers in Diabaa detected theft of fowls on their farms and decided to lay ambush near their farms to arrest the thieves.
The prosecution said during one such ambush on December 12 this year, the complainant upon reaching his farm detected that the padlock to one of his coops had been forcibly opened with fowl feathers scattered around.
The complainant traced the feathers to a cocoa farm where he heard an unusual noise. With the aid of a flashlight he spotted the accused but they took to their heels when they saw the flashlight.
Inspector Kumah said the complainant chased the suspects and succeeded in arresting Kankam who mentioned Appiah as his accomplice.
He said Kankam led the complainant to a spot on the cocoa farm and pointed to two fowls, one of which had been dressed.
The prosecutor said the complainant took Kankam to the police at Nkrankwanta who traced and arrested Appiah the following day.
The prosecution said the two suspects admitted their guilt in separate caution statements to the police and were accordingly charged.
The same court is trying Afia Fofie, a farmer, for beating a 10-year-old school girl at a community borehole at Aboabo No. 3, near Dormaa-Ahenkro.
The court granted the accused bail in the sum of GHC5,000.00 with two sureties to be justified while her case was adjourned to January 4, 2012.
Inspector Bismarck Boye Lartey, the prosecutor, told the court that the victim went to the public borehole at Aboabo No. 3 on September 4 this year to fetch water.
When it got to her turn the accused defied the “first-come first-served” policy and forcibly placed her basin at a spot ready to draw the water and the victim protested.
The prosecutor said the alleged insulting behaviour of the 10-year-old girl infuriated the accused who slapped the victim and left the borehole.
The prosecution said at 1900 hours the same day the accused saw the victim and another boy studying in the house and pounced on her and beat her up calling her a bully.
The accused has denied beating the charge.
In another case the court also remanded Yaw Mensah and Kwaku Podoh, residents of Bosomia in La Cote d’Ivoire, for allegedly stealing GHC4,000.00 belonging to the Produce Buying Company at Danyame, near Dormaa-Ahenkro.
A third accomplice, identified only as Francois, has been on the run since the day of the crime and is being sought by the police.
Inspector Lartey told the court that the complainant was the PBC clerk at Danyame, a cocoa growing community in Dormaa municipality.
He said on December 9, a co-worker of the complainant, Amu Kwaku, informed him that thieves had broken into the Danyame PBC Office.
The prosecution said the complainant got to the office and detected that someone had used a big stone to break the main door and gained access to the office.
He said the thief had made away with GHC4,000.00 which was kept in a drawer under lock and key.
Inspector Lartey said moments after reporting the theft to the Police the complainant had a tip-off that the two suspects were spotted moving from Danyame towards Dormaa-Ahenkro.
Inspector Lartey said the complainant gave the suspects a hot chase on a motorbike and caught up with them at Taforo where he confronted them.
He said a search conducted on the suspects revealed a cutlass hidden in the pair of trousers of one of them and two keys, which they claimed belonged to rooms they occupied at Dormaa Hotel at Dormaa-Ahenkro.
The prosecution told the court that the accused stated in their caution statements to the police they were recruited by one Francois, who is now at large, to assist him to sell some cocoa beans at Danyame.
The court said the accused had to be remanded as they did not have any proper place of abode in Dormaa.
The same court remanded Samuel Kyeremeh a resident of Dormaa-Ahenkro into prison custody for allegedly robbing a farmer at Dormaa in the night of December 4.
Kwasi Botwe and one Richard, accomplices of the accused, have been at large since the day of the incident and are being sought by Dormaa Police.
Inspector Seth Agyarkwa told the court the complainant was a farmer at Yaakrom, near Nkrankwanta, whilst the accused and his two accomplices were resident in Dormaa-Ahenkro.
He said on December 4 while the complainant was returning from a visit to a friend in Dormaa-Ahenkro someone grabbed him from behind at a spot near the Dormaa Municipal Health Directorate.
The prosecutor said as the complainant struggled to free himself he saw two other men come to join the one who held him and in the process Kyeremeh dipped his hand into his pocket and removed GHC380.00.
The prosecution said the three men then took to their heels but the complainant was able to identify Kyeremeh.
When the complainant later managed to cause the arrest of Kyeremeh, the suspect mentioned Botwe and Richard as his accomplices and also admitted the offence.
Inspector Agyarkwa said the accused told the police in his caution statement that he and his friends had shared the money and refunded GHC130.00 being his share of the booty to the police. GNA