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Crime & Punishment Wed, 22 Jun 2005

Court fines woman robber

Asamankese, (E/R) June 22, GNA - A 30-year-old unemployed woman described by the Police as "a notorious thief" has been sentenced to a fine of two million cedis by the Asamankese Circuit Court for stealing a large quantity of tin tomatoes and cooking spices. In default, Afua Ataa who pleaded guilty, will go to prison for 18 months in hard labour.

The court, presided over by Mr Kofi Akrowiah, took into consideration the fact that all the items stolen valued at four million cedis were retrieved. Ataa, who also faces another charge of stealing a quantity of pyrex bowls and plastic wares valued at 43 million cedis would re-appear in court on June 27.

Police Chief Inspector S. A. Ntow prosecuting, told the court that on May 2, this year, Ataa boarded a bus from Boadua with some quantities of tin tomatoes and other cooking spices and alighted at Nsawam. He said later after her departure when the owner of the stolen goods, Madam Faustina Adekpo, learnt that her store had been broken into, she rushed there to find that some boxes of tin tomatoes and spices had been stolen. She further learnt that a woman who could be the thief had boarded a vehicle with some cartons, and so she charted a taxi and chased the vehicle.

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On reaching Nsawam, the trader learnt that Ataa had joined a taxi and was heading towards Adeiso, so she followed up intercepted that taxi and had her arrested. Ataa was handed over to the Adeiso Police who in turn handed her to the Akwatia Police.

In her caution statement, she stated that the items were given to her by one Joe, a boyfriend, to be sent to Nsawam for sale and that she had spent the night with that Joe. When she was asked to lead the Police to the supposed boyfriend, Ataa took them to a barbering shop where she pointed at a student as the one who gave the items to her. This, however, turned out to be a lie since the boy who protested that he had never met Ataa before was also not called Joe.

A witness said he saw Ataa and her baby sleeping on the bare floor of the veranda of the store which was broken into and it was he who offered her a mat to sleep on and in the morning, the store was found burgled. The prosecutor said Ataa named Wenchi as her home town but investigations showed she was from Bobikuma in the Central Region.

Source: GNA
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