12.04.2005 Crime & Punishment

Trader gets 10 years for setting house ablaze

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Accra, April 12, GNA - A 20-year-old trader who set ablaze a four-bed room house worth 400 million cedis at New Fadama was on Tuesday sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment with hard labour by a Circuit Court in Accra.

Nana Opare Adjei Sarpong pleaded guilty to causing unlawful damage and the Court convicted him on his own plea. In his explanation, Sarpong who broke down in tears said: "I did it, I don't know what came over me."

The Court, however< rejected his explanation.

The case as presented by Police Chief Inspector Benedicta Akolgo was that the complainant, a Pastor, is a brother to Sarpong's late father. Sarpong lived with the complainant in the house.

Prosecution stated that for some time now, Sarpong was having problems with most of his family members over his father's house situated at Madina and threatened that should his relation fail to release his father's house to him, he would set it ablaze.

The Prosecutor said on March 4, this year Sarpong removed his bag from the house and gave it to a witness for safekeeping and warned the witness not to disclose his whereabouts.

The Witness, however, rejected Sarpong's request but later found out that Sarpong had broken into her room and placed his bag there. Sarpong later set the house ablaze and left the scene. Prosecution said when Sarpong was confronted, he confessed and stated that his intention was to burn one of the rooms of his family member but the fire extended to the whole house and pleaded for leniency. Prosecution said the occupants in the house lost all their valuables including some foreign currencies and travelling documents.

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