Judge reduces convicts’ sentences out of sympathy

The Presiding Judge of the Accra Circuit Court, Mr Francis Obiri, yesterday reduced the sentences of two convicts from 50 to 40 years for robbing a stationery dealer.

That was when Robert Adzika and Peter Asare, who were being escorted out of the courtroom to begin their sentences, wailed, with one of them calling on the judge to temper justice with mercy and consider his little child and reduce the sentence.

The courtroom, which was packed, was quiet after the judgement had been passed and the wailings of the convicts, which were loud, touched the judge, who called them back to the courtroom and reduced the sentence. 

They were found guilty of charges of conspiracy to rob and robbery.

Convicts Adzika and Asare are each to serve 15 years for conspiracy and 20 years for robbery.

The sentences are to run concurrently. Judgement
Delivering the judgement, Mr Obiri said armed robbery was becoming rampant in the country and so the perpetrators should not be harboured in society.

He said miscreants should be separated from society to enable law-abiding citizens to carry out their legitimate duties freely without any fear or harassment.

He appealed to the youth to find something useful, profitable and legitimate to do, instead of engaging in robbery. Facts of the case

Presenting the facts, the Prosecutor, Chief Superintendent E. Afful, told the court that the complainant was a stationery dealer who owns a shop at Teshie Manna Mission Junction, near Accra, while Adzika and Asare were a scrap dealer and a motor repairer respectively, and residents of Ashaiman.

He said about 9.45 a.m. on February 6, 2014, the complainant was in her shop carrying her handbag which contained a purse, a comb, her baby’s three dresses, as well as a pair of sandals, a Bible and cash of GH¢60.

The convicts, who were on a motorbike at that time, suddenly parked in front of the shop.

Adzika, who was the rider, alighted from the motorbike and walked towards the complainant’s shop, while Asare waited on the bike.

The prosecutor said Adzika entered the shop as if he was going to buy something but violently snatched the complainant’s bag.

He immediately joined Asare on the motorbike and they attempted to escape, but luck eluded them when a moving vehicle crossed them and they fell off the bike.

The complainant raised an alarm and they were arrested by passers-by and the items retrieved.

Chief Supt Afful said the police, who were alerted to the incident, rushed to the scene, arrested them and sent them to the police station.

Adzika and Asare admitted the offence in their caution statements.

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