Businessman sentenced to five years imprisonment for defrauding banker

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    An Accra Circuit Court, presided over by Her Honour Mrs Ellen Ofei-Ayeh, has sentenced a businessman, Enyonam Ahadzie, to five years imprisonment in hard labour.

    The businessman received the sentence yesterday, after being tried for more than a year and pleading not guilty to the charge of  defrauding by False Pretence, contrary to Section 131(1) of the Criminal Offences Act 1960, Act 29.

    Facts of the case, as presented by the prosecution officer, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Fuseini Yakubu, before the court, was that the convict defrauded a banker (complainant) under the pretence of selling a car to him.

    According to the prosecutor, on April 12, 2017, the convict went to the banker who wanted to buy a car and presented a proposal that he could secure him Hyundai Elantra 2012 model from the United States of America, at a cost of GH¢30, 000.00.

    The convict assured the complainant that the price of the car also covers the cost of shipping charges and clearing of same.

    ASP YAkubu told the court that the complainant developed interest in the convict’s proposal and raised an amount of GH¢28, 000.00 which he gave to him (convict), with the promise that the said car would be delivered within two months.

    Unfortunately, the prosecutor said the convict failed to provide the car to the complainant and to add insult to injury, also refused to answer his calls.

    “On January 22, 2018 the accused person was arrested and he admitted the offence. He pleaded to be given time to make available the car to the Police, but failed. After investigation he was charged with the offence,” he added.

    This, Mrs Ofei-Ayeh ruled that Enyonam is found guilty for the offence of defrauding by false pretences “and I convict him accordingly.”

    She further added that although Enyonam is a first time offender and has had no brush with the law, the five years sentence in hard labour was balanced with the fact that not a penny of the GH¢28, 000.00 had been recovered, as well as the punishment prescribed under the law.

    In another development, a thief, Farouk Issaka, who broke into a pastor’s house at Adenta Frafraha, in the Greater Accra region, has been sentenced to ten years imprisonment by an Accra Circuit Court.

    The court, presided over by Mrs Ellen Ofei-Ayeh, sentenced the convict on two counts, unlawful entry and stealing. The convict, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, would serve five years on each count and the sentences are to run concurrently.

    Issaka, a trader and resident of Konkomba market, came into conflict with the law due to the fact that he, together with one Joe (at large), conceived a plan to steal the property of the pastor, Joseph Morgan, who also is the complainant in this case.

    The court was informed by the prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Fuseini Yakubu that the duo went to the complainant’s residence during his absence on a motorbike. The prosecutor said “the accused persons, having in possession one pinch bar and a flat screw driver, forced the main door open.”

    He narrated to the court that the convict entered the pastor’s premises, whilst Joe stood outside to watch out for any intruders. The convict ransacked the entire house and took away two HP Laptops, one DEL laptop, a Gold ring all valued at GH¢30, 700.00 and cash in the sum of                              US$4, 000. He said the convict then boarded the motorbike and sped off with the booty.

    ASP Yakubu said on July 10, 2018 Police intelligence led to the arrest of the convict at Konkomba market, where he admitted to the offence in his investigation caution statement and mentioned the said Joe as his accomplice. The prosecutor further told the court that the convict also confessed to series of robberies committed by him and his accomplice within the Accra Metropolis.

    Judgement  

    In giving judgement, the court referred to Kwashie v The Republic 1971; One Ghana Law Report (1GLR).

    In the above case, the court held that the judge should consider the intrinsic seriousness of the offence, the degree of revulsion felt by law abiding citizens of the society of that particular crime, the premeditation with, which the criminal plan was executed, the prevalence of the crime within that particular locality where the offence took place, the sudden increase in the incidents of the particular crime and mitigating or aggravating circumstances such as extreme youth, good character, etc.

    Mrs Ellen Ofei-Ayeh noted in her judgement that, “I have also given due regard to sentencing guidelines in Ghana and the accused is a first offender without any previous criminal record.

    The maximum sentence for Unlawful Entry and Stealing is contained in section 296(1) of the Criminal and Other Offence (Procedure Act) Act 30 is 25 years imprisonment.

    It took a full trial to determine the guilt of the accused person. I have considered the nature of the offences and the value of the items stolen, which I cannot appropriately assess its value. I have also considered the age of the accused person and I balance the mitigating factors with other factors such as public protection and sentence the accused person.