14.10.2004 Crime & Punishment

Woman jailed for child stealing

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Accra Oct. 14, GNA - A 65-year-old woman who took advantage of a missing girl and handed her over to another woman as a house-help was on Thursday jailed six months with hard labour for child stealing by a circuit Court in Accra.

Grace Thompson pleaded guilty to child stealing and the court convicted her on her own plea.

She pleaded with the court to have mercy on her because she took the victim on humanitarian grounds.

Grace took 120,000 cedis from Elizabeth Coffie, her employer and promised to get her a house-help from her hometown in the north. Police Chief Inspector Alice Takyiwah said the complainant was a medical doctor at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital but lived at Cantonments in Accra while the victim aged 13, was a house-help to the complainant.

Prosecution said on July 31, this year, the complainant asked the victim to go and buy "kenkey" but she did not return.

The complainant informed the media about the victim's disappearance and various announcements were made.

On the same day, Grace met the victim at Danquah Circle in Accra with a basket and 20,000 cedis note given to her by the complainant to purchase the kenkey.

Prosecution said Grace took the victim to the house of her employers from whom she had collected 120,000 cedis after promising to bring her a house-help from the North.

The prosecutor said on September 24, a relative known as Oscar Chirifa, who was living at Awudome Estate traced the victim to Grace employer's house.

During interrogation the victim narrated her ordeal to Chirifa and Grace was subsequently arrested.

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