15 November 2012

Ghana: Trader Sentence Three Months for Biting Neighbour's Finger

An Accra High Court has convicted a trader to a fine of GH¢500 for biting a finger of a neighbor during a fight, and in default face three months imprisonment in hard labour.

The convict, Patience Adjeley Ohene, was further ordered to compensate the complainant with an amount of GH¢1,000 for inflicting severe injuries on her.

Patience Adjeley Ohene, fought with the complainant over a drying line, which she had asked one of the complainant's relations to reserve for her.

The court, presided over by Mr. C.A Wilson, in its judgment indicated that on the said day, a young girl, who lives in the house, and a relation to the complainant, was washing her clothes when the accused person approached and told her to leave some space on the drying line for her.

According to the court, there was a misunderstanding between the accused person and the young girl, a relation to the complainant, which resulted into a quarrel.

"This was followed by another quarrel and a fight in the day, around 3pm, between the accused person and the complainant, and in the course of the fight, the accused person bit the complainant's face and index finger to the extent of almost chopping it off", the presiding judge noted.

The accused person, opening her defense, told the court that the complainant and her family are irritating neighbours, who always taunt her about her infidelity.

She said there was an argument and the complainant pounced on the accused person and started to assault her, adding that the complainant was the aggressor, who was assisted by her mother to attack her.

Counsel of the accused person, in his submission, wondered why the police proceeded against the accused person alone, he argued that both the complainant and the accused person fought and ought to have been charged with acts intending to disturb the peace.

He argued that the accused person was subjected to an attack by the complainant and her mother, who abetted the crime, adding that what ever the accused person did, she did it in self defense.

According to the court, it does not believe the story of the prosecution that the accused person alone assaulted the complainant since the two persons fought that day and the accused person bit the finger of the complainant.

"The manner in which the police investigator led the evidence and answered questions in cross examination gives an indication that he did not do his investigations properly, his evidence differed in many respects from the prosecuting witness, showing clearly that he was merely an arm chair investigator".

The court in its judgment did not accept the argument of the accused person's counsel, according to him, biting the complainant's finger in a fight of co-equals was not justified in the circumstance.

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