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02.03.2005 Crime & Punishment

Father, son in court for assault

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Akim Swedru, March 2, GNA - For taking a bunch of palm fruit from his elder brother's farm to his mother to prepare soup, Godwin Abotsi, then a 17-year-old JSS graduate, was tortured rendering him crippled. Four persons including his father William Abotsi, John Abotsi, Godwin's elder brother, Isaac Opare and one Opooman, now on the run, are standing trial at the Akim Swedru Circuit Court on charges of conspiracy and causing harm.

They pleaded not guilty and have been granted bail till March 18. Police Superintendent Johnson Kwesi Ganyo, prosecuting, told the court presided over by Mr George Kingsley Koomson, that in April 1996, Godwin took a bunch of palm fruit from his brother's farm at Twereboanne, near Asabedie in the Birim North District to their mother to prepare soup.

He said later, after they had all enjoyed the meal, John realised that the palm fruits, which were used in preparing the evening meal came from his farm and became angry.

The prosecution said John then pounced on his younger brother and assaulted him severely, adding that while Godwin was lying on the ground weeping, John went to place his ghetto blaster beside him while teasing him that if he should die, he would use the musical instrument to entertain mourners during the funeral.

Superintendent Ganyo said Godwin managed to smash the ghetto blaster whereby John, in a fit of anger travelled to Akwaa, near New Edubiase and reported the case to members of the town's task force. He said members of the task force including Opare and Opooman arrested Godwin and took him to Akwaa.

The Prosecutor said at Akwaa, the task force members on the instructions of William, ordered Godwin to kneel down and was later made to carry a cement block.

The accused persons allegedly hit his legs with sticks and blocks which later resulted in Godwin becoming paralysed.