Convicted pregnant teenager cries to President for clemency

A pregnant teenager, who is serving six months prison term at the Ho Female Prison for assault, has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo for clemency.

Rose Shabi, 18, from Dzodze, was convicted sometime in May, this year, by a magistrate court for pouring pepper into the face of her cousin during a quarrel, and sentenced to a fine of GH¢1,500 or six months imprisonment in default of the fine.

Shabi, who maintained that it was rather her cousin, who persistently hurled insults at her, and caused her to lose her temper, could not pay the fine.

The convict has so far served two-and-a-half months of the sentence.

Some members of the public, who are outraged by Shabi’s incarceration, maintained that her outburst towards her cousin during the quarrel could be the result of pregnancy-related complications, much more common in younger expecting mothers.

When the Ghanaian Times visited her in jail on Friday, a remorseful Shabi called on the President to pardon her for the sake of the unborn child.

Superintendent Clarissa Catherine Dankwa, Officer in-charge of the prison, said that the convict would give birth in couple of months, “ so we are preparing for delivery”.

She said that the penal centre did not have baby-friendly facilities and so Shabi would share a cell with her baby.

Sup Dankwa appealed to public spirited individuals and organisations to come to the aid of the convict, who would need a baby court, clothes for herself and the child, food and other items after giving birth.

Prison officers ensure that Shabi attends ante-natal service at the Ho Municipal Hospital regularly, and are given double ration during meals, according to Superintendent Dankwa.

FROM ALBERTO MARIO NORETTI, HO

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