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16.02.2005 Crime & Punishment

Fisherman fined one million cedis for stealing goat

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Cape Coast, Feb. 16, GNA - Kofi Badu, fisherman, 38, from Nkontrodo, near Elmina was on Wednesday fined one million cedis by a circuit court at Cape Coast for stealing a goat worth 350,000 cedis belonging to Madam Ekua Donkor.

Badu who pleaded guilty will go to prison for six months if he fails to pay the fine.

The court presided over by Mr Beresford Acquah ordered him to pay an amount of 350,000 cedis as compensation to the owner or in default serve another two months imprisonment.

He also signed a bond to be of good behaviour for six months or in default serve additional two months imprisonment.

Mr Acquah, said he was lenient with Badu, because he was solely responsible for the upkeep of his sick and aged grandmother and jailing him would have serious consequences for the old woman.

Prosecuting, Police Chief Inspector Hope Azasoo told the court that on February 12, this year, one Opanin Kwesi Owu, another sick and aged man who lived directly opposite Badu's house saw a goat enter Badu's kitchen but did not come out.

Opanin Owu therefore detailed one Mohammed Ali also from the village to confront Badu and ascertain the truth or otherwise, he added. According to Chief Inspector Azasoo, when Ali was on his way to Badu's house, he met one Kojo Atta, a 15-year old boy carrying a shovel and a plastic container with something concealed in a polythene bag. Mr Azasoo said Ali became suspicious and therefore followed the boy and after walking a distance, he asked the boy what he was carrying. He said the boy replied that he did not know, but that Badu had sent him.

The prosecution said Ali saw Badu following them and therefore stopped the boy to examine the container but Badu did not agree. When Ali insisted, he offered him 100,000 thousand cedis but Ali refused and took him to the chief's palace, the prosecution said He said the chief, Nana Ekow Nyan on examination of the bag detected that it contained the carcass of a dead goat and therefore sent for the police who arrested Badu.

In his defence Badu alleged that the goat entered his kitchen and ate all his fish and when he hit it with a stick it died accidentally and that he was on his way to bury it, when Ali accosted him.

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