23 November 2012

Ghana: Unemployed, 33, Jailed 12 Years for Stealing

An Accra circuit court has sentenced a-thirty-three-year-old unemployed woman to twelve years imprisonment for stealing GH¢7,880 belonging to her host.

The convict, Janice Woode, who also stole $1,425 and £550 belonging to her host, was yesterday pronounced guilty on two counts of stealing contrary to section 124 (1) of Act 29/60 by the court, presided over by Mrs. Ivy Heward-Mills.

The convict, who was sentenced 12 years each on the two counts of charge, is expected to serve the sentence in hard labour.

The innocent-looking convict, who was offered a place to lay her head, stole the funeral donations given to the complainant, her host, who was in a state of mourning her late father.

The Prosecuting Officer, Chief Inspector A.O. Yeboa indicated that the first complainant, who is a consultant and the mother, who is the second complainant, a retired Chief Director, both residents of Labone, a suburb of Accra, had to provide an abode for the convict since they attend the same church.

According to Chief Inspector Yeboa, sometime in September 2012, the accused person approached the complainant and pleaded with her to accommodate her, while she made alternative arrangement to find a permanent place.

The complainant acceded to her request allowed Janice Woode to move into the house on September 10, 2012, unfortunately within the same period, the complainant lost the father and was in the process of preparing for the funeral.

A week after the convict had moved in, the complainant started experiencing the missing of some monies, including donations from well wishers towards her father's funeral, which she had kept in her bedroom.

These monies include 1400.00 US dollars in three separate envelopes, 450 pounds in two separate envelopes and GH¢700.00.

After the funeral, the complainant went to her bank at Cal bank to make a withdrawal and she detected that certain illegal withdrawals had been made by an unknown person using her ATM card.

The bank was notified of the theft and later provided CCTV footage on the day of the withdrawals, showing the convict in the process of making the illegal withdrawals.

Upon her arrest, an amount of £100, GH¢1,600 and $25 were found on the convict, who admitted the offence in her cautioned statement and pleaded to be given time to pay the difference.

The convict also used two stolen ATM cards to illegally withdrew an amount of GH¢2,400 and GH¢3,180 respectively from the account of her host, which was detected by the complainant on September 15, 2012, when she received her bank statement from the same bank and she detected that there had also been some illegal withdrawal from her account.

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