Tarkwa Circuit Court has sentenced a 62-year-old illegal miner to 20 years of imprisonment in hard labor for pouring liquid suspected to be acid on his former girlfriend, Victoria Salamatu Safia, 35, at Prestea in the Western Region.
John Tandoh, also known as Kojo Egyaguma, who was convicted of causing harm, pleaded guilty to the charge during his first appearance before the presiding judge, Mrs. Hathia Ama Manu.
As Mrs. Manu delivered the sentence, Tandoh kept his head down until she completed it, and he was escorted out of the courtroom by a police officer.
Records from the Tarkwa Local Prison revealed that in 2012, Tandoh was sentenced to 16 years for a similar offense but was discharged on amnesty in June 2020 after serving eight years.
Superintendent of Police Juliana Essel-Dadzie, prosecuting, said Tandoh and the victim lived in Prestea and were working as partners in an illegal mining site within the vicinity for a year.
She said during the course of work, the convict proposed love to Victoria, and she agreed, and the two had been living together since.
After months, the victim noticed Tandoh’s attitude had changed towards her and always quarrelled with her without any provocation, so she advised herself and decided to end the relationship.
On October 20, 2023, at about 0700 hours, the two went to the usual mining site to prospect for gold. While going about their respective duties, the prosecutor said a misunderstanding ensued, and Tandoh left for town.
Superintendent Essel-Dadzie informed the court that after a few minutes, Tandoh returned to the site with a bowl covered with a polythene bag, and the victim thought it was food.
The prosecution said the convict walked towards the victim, attacked her, and poured the liquid suspected to be acid on her head, face, and other parts of the body.
The victim sustained severe burns, screamed in pain for assistance, and a witness who was working nearby went to the scene and attempted to apprehend Tandoh. However, he pulled a kitchen knife and threatened to stab him and bolted.
Superintendent Essel-Dadzie said Victoria was rushed to the Prestea Government hospital, where she is currently on admission receiving treatment.
The prosecutor said on the same day at about 1430 hours, Tandoh was arrested from his hideout and handed over to the police in Prestea.