03.12.2008 Crime & Punishment

A 19-year-old boy jailed three years for arson

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A Kumasi Circuit Court has sentenced Prince Takyi Nketia 19, to three years imprisonment for setting fire to a shop destroying items worth GH¢ 2,000.

He pleaded not guilty and a civil action could be instituted against him after his sentence.

Police Chief Inspector Wilfred Salia told the court presided over by Mr Adjei Frimpong that both Nketia and Madam Mary Adansi Fofie, complainant lived at Kronom, a suburb of Kumasi.

He said Nketia befriended the complainant's maid and visited her on February 24, 2007 at the complainant's shop where she sold consumables.

The prosecution said complainant asked Nketia to leave the shop since he would not buy anything and asked her maid to go home and prepare a meal.

He said Nketia followed the maid to the house and was met by the complainant who asked him to leave the kitchen since her maid was cooking.

Police Chief Inspector Salia said this infuriated Nketia who attacked the complainant but was rescued by neighbours and he threatened to teach the complainant a bitter lesson which would send her wailing after which he went away.

He said during the night of the same day, complainant was informed that her shop, a wooden structure had been set ablaze, she rushed there and on seeing the fire collapsed but was resuscitated.

The prosecution said Nketia went into hiding but a report was made to the police, a year later when he resurfaced and was arrested.

Mr Frimpong said it was a first degree felony, because the fire could have killed people since it was set in a neighbourhood.

He said the complainant could have also died from the shock and Nketia showed no remorse but went into hiding until he was arrested. Mr Obeng Manu, Counsel for Nketiah pleading for mitigation said he should be made to pay for the damage being a first offender and young.

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