Alan Thomas Tichler, the British Overseas Volunteer sentenced last year to four years' imprisonment after an Accra Circuit Court found him guilty of indecent assault on the three-year-old daughter of his host, has been freed and flown back to Britain.
This was within 24 hours after he went on appeal at a High Court which said there were inconsistencies in the evidence of the victim, her mother and brother which made it doubtful whether Tichler was really the one who committed the offence.
The judge, Justice E.K. Mensah, in giving his verdict, said if the evidence of the accused that while he was left to take care of the little girl and her siblings in their home, the girl played by jumping up and down a metal bed and later rode on his back was anything to go by, then none of the activities could have caused her to bleed.
He noted that the allegation that Tichler, a consultant, immediately asked for water to wash his hands when their mother arrived because he knew what he had done, was no evidence to prove that he performed the act since he explained that he went to the washroom earlier.
The trial judge also observed that the applicant had short fingernails so if there was blood on them the victim's mother would have seen it because she was the one who poured water directly onto his hands to wash them.
Justice Mensah explained that considering the extent of abrasion suffered by the victim, the short fingernails of the consultant could not have been used for such cuts on her hymen which was said to be ruptured.
Furthermore, considering the time the Brit was left alone with the victim which was said to be less than five minutes and the extent of the little girl's bleeding, Tichler could not have used such a little time to attack her, the judge stated.
In addition, he said there was no forensic examination performed on the accused's fingernails, even though the accused insisted that one be carried out to check if there was any debris underneath it.
He therefore discharged him.
Tichler during the course of the trial told the court that being a parent himself, he understood the pain of the victim's parents but was not the one who committed the offence.
He said he regretted being at the house of his host who invited him, and said he was stripped naked to check his manhood to see if he indeed defiled the girl, adding that he suffered inhuman treatment when the allegation was leveled against him.
The victim bled profusely and after the said incident had her whole panties soaked in blood which was tendered in evidence at the substantive trial. She told the court which sat in chambers that it was “Uncle Tom who put his hands in my 'showdat,” and pointed to her sex organ when asked where her 'showdat' was by the then trial Judge, Mrs. Georgina Mensah-Datsa.
Tony Lithur was counsel for the applicant while the state vowed to appeal but it seems unlikely now that the accused is out of jurisdiction.