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06.10.2005 Crime & Punishment

farmer fined 300,000 cedis for stealing yams

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Techiman (B/A), Oct. 6, GNA - A 30-year-old farmer, who explained to a circuit court in Techiman in Brong-Ahafo that, he stole yams from a neighbour's farm because he had only a cassava farm has been granted 300,000 cedis fine or in default go to jail for three months. Opoku Martin of Kokroko, near Aworowa was charged with stealing five tubers of yams, valued at 20,000 cedis belonging to Kwabena Ameyaw, also a farmer.

He pleaded guilty with explanation. He pleaded with the court to deal leniently with him, as he had only a cassava farm and needed the tubers of yam to eat after a day's work.

Prosecuting, Police Inspector Angelina Afbian told the court presided over by Mr Godwin A. Kwasikuma that, Ameyaw, who also lives at Aworowa shared a farm boundary with the accused at Kokroko, near Aworowa.

Inspector Afbian said Ameyaw detected the theft of the produce from his farm and alerted other farmers, who shared boundaries with him to help him to apprehend the perpetrators.

Inspector Afbian said at about 0600 hours on October 02, this year, Opoku clandestinely entered Ameyaw's farm and harvested the five tubers of yam but was apprehended and sent to the police station. Passing sentence, Mr Kwasikuma expressed regret that although there was abundant rich land in the country, many youth had refused to take up the farming vocation and had rather resorted to stealing farm produce of their colleague farmers.

He stated that he had only taken into consideration that, the accused had been hungry and had only gone to harvest the yam for a meal and not to sell but warned that he would in future not spare any person or group of persons caught stealing farm produce.