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28.05.2004 Tabloid News

Painter jailed for stealing his sick brother's goat

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Asamankese, May 27, GNA - A Painter, Ebenezer Oteng Obessey who connived with a friend to steal two goats belonging to his ailing brother has been sentenced to three months imprisonment in hard labour and fined 500,000 cedis by the Asamankese circuit court. The court presided over by Mr S. S. Appiah also ordered Oteng to compensate his brother with 500,000 cedis or to go to prison for additional six months.
His accomplice, Nelson Doughan, who described himself as a Security Guard was fined 450,000 cedis or in default to go to jail for three months in hard labour.
They pleaded guilty to the charge of stealing two goats valued at 500,000 cedis.
Prosecuting, Police Detective Chief Inspector Osei Owusu said the complainant was involved in a motor accident some three years ago and became bed-ridden.
He therefore decided to rear goats to earn his living, and now had a considerable number of goats.
But for some time now thieves had been stealing the animals and all efforts to track down the culprits had failed.
On May 10, at about 12.30 p.m., a brother of the complainant met Doughan in the vicinity of their house carrying away a goat, which he suspected to belong to the complainant.
Suspecting it was the complainant who had sent him with the animal, he did not question him.
However, on reaching the house, he asked the complainant whether it was he who had sent Doughan with the animal but the complainant answered in the negative.
A check from the pen revealed that two goats were missing. The witness, assisted by others, traced and arrested Doughan who mentioned Oteng as an accomplice.
Oteng was then arrested and he admitted the offence and said he and Doughan together stole the two goats and sold them for 255,000 cedis. They then led the police to recover one of the animals from a trader who bought it but could not trace the other person who bought the second goat.
Detective Chief Inspector Owusu said an amount of 140,000 cedis being part of the amount realised from the sale of the goats was retrieved from the two accused persons.
In passing judgement, the judge told Oteng that his conduct was more offensive, knowing the condition of his brother and the effort he was making to keep body and soul together.
He said Doughan could not claim ignorance because he knew that the animals did not belong to his friend, Oteng.