06.04.2004 Crime & Punishment

Armed robber receives life sentence

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Ho, April 6, GNA - A Ho High Court on Tuesday sentenced Robert Kwame Atitso, a Togolese, to life imprisonment for robbery in which two people including one of his accomplices were shot dead.

A seven-member jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty of conspiracy to rob and robbery on Atitso, who had pleaded not guilty to both counts.

Mr Justice Paul Gyaesayor, presiding, told Atitso that as a foreigner who found it difficult to stay in his own country, but came to Ghana to commit "a bloody and wicked crime", he deserved no mercy but a maximum sentence.

He directed that the convict should be deported to his country should there be any pardon for him in the future. Mr Justice Gyaesayor also directed that the stolen items, which had been retrieved, should be given back to the owner. Prosecuting, Miss Patience Klinogo, Principal State Attorney, said at about 0100 hour on February 28, 1998, three armed men attacked one Mr Soworlo Setsoafia in his house at a village called Sogbe on the Ghana-Togo border.

She said the armed men tied up Mr Setsoafia and robbed him of his home appliances, including a radio cassette player and a television set. The robbers also made away with 15 pieces of men's cloth, eleven pieces of Kente cloth, a motorbike and 50,000 CFA francs.

Miss Klinogo said Mr Setsoafia's shout for help attracted some neighbours, including his brother Kwaku Setsoafia, who chased the robbers to a nearby village near Aflao called Soshieme.

She said in the ensuing confrontation between them and their pursuers, the robbers shot dead Kwaku Setsoafia. They also shot and killed one of their colleagues, the Court heard.

Miss Klinogo said a report was made to the Aflao police, who visited the scene of the confrontation and saw Kwaku Setsoafia's body lying beside the stolen items. The Prosecution said Atitso was subsequently arrested upon a tip-off at Aflao and was arraigned after police investigations.

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