Crime & Punishment Wed, 27 Apr 2022

Court fines careless driver GH¢960 for crossing, insulting a magistrate

Driver pleads guilty to charges including careless driving

Judge rescinds one month jail term after defense counsel plea

Convicted driver charged to advocate safe driving

A driver, Theophilus Nii Armah Okai, narrowly escaped a month jail term after the Ofaakor Circuit Court convicted him on his own guilty plea to counts of driving on the road shoulders and causing danger to other road users.

According to the prosecution led by Chief Inspector Charles Annobil, Okai, on April 14, 2022, at about 1400 hours, was driving a Toyota Hilux with registration number GN 2146 – 16 from Cape Coast towards Accra, using the shoulders of the road.

The prosecutor said the driver on reaching a section of the road at Fetteh Kakraba, saw vehicles parked ahead of him and decided to join the main road but recklessly crossed a Dodge Rum pickup, being driven by Mrs. Naomi Kuntour, a Magistrate of the Awutu Beraku Court.

The convict having carelessly crossed the magistrate further made an insulting gesture hand while he drove away, said the prosecutor.

The magistrate who picked up Okai’s registration number in the process handed same over to the Commander of the Kasoa Motor Transport and Traffic Department, ACP Ms Agnes Caesar who alerted police personnel on the road and had Okai arrested the same day.

In pronouncing sentence on the convict, the presiding judge, Ebenezer Osei Darko emphasized that he wants Okai to serve prison term as a deterrent to reckless and insolent drivers, recounting his own experiences.

He thus ordered the convict to spend one month in jail for his offense.

This however was met with fervent plea from the counsel for the convict, Daniel Kukpalor who appealed to the judge to “temper justice with mercy.”

His plea was supported by other lawyers who requested a fine in place of the jail term with the defense lawyer insisting that his client has shown remorse and has attempted to apologise to the female magistrate.

The presiding judge following persistent appeals reversed his earlier jail sentence with a fine of GH¢960.

The judge further charged Okai to be an ambassador for careful and considerate driving on the road.

The suspect will subsequently serve a six-month jail term if he failed to pay the fine.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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