An attempt by a lawyer to convince a court to reprimand his client based on a recent “Go and sin no more” verdict of the Speaker of Parliament on a legislator, hit a snag, as accused and three others were sentenced to 57 months in prison for various offences.
Mr Bernard Owiredu appealed to the Presiding Judge of the Accra Circuit Circuit Court “1” to temper justice with mercy on Nancy Dantaa, a barkeeper, who assisted seven inmates to escape from Dome Kwabenya police cell.
The court, however, sentenced Dantaa, a single mother and Kofi Seshie, a taxi driver to 17 months each, while Prince Osei, alias Bebe, who is already serving 36 months in prison for unlawful escape and Prince Kofi Acheampong were sentenced to 40 months each for possession of firearms without authority.
In his plea for mitigation before sentence was passed by the court, Mr Owiredu told the court presided by Mr Aboagye Tandoh that Dantaa has a six-year-old child, who she takes care of and that accused had spent more than a year in custody.
His colleague, Mr George Asomaning urged the court to be magnanimous, adding that the accused were remorseful; that they were young and first time offenders.
Mr Tandoh said he took into consideration the period accused spent in custody and plea for mitigation, but added that the essence of punishment was to appease society, safeguard the country and deter accused.
The facts are that 13 people were arrested in connection with the Dome Kwabenya cell break which resulted in the death of Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Emmanuel Ashilevi last year.
Three of them pleaded guilty in the course of trial and were sentenced to 36 months each.
However, the court acquitted and discharged six of them because prosecution could not make prima facie case against them.
On January 21, 2018, seven inmates of the Kwabenya Police Station cell escaped from custody through a cell break carried out by six armed men.
Superintendent George Amegah, the prosecutor told the court police were able to arrest four of the escapees and nine people alleged to have aided them in their escape, but three of the escapees: Chibuzor Akwubu, Rockson Edem Dzigbede and Dickson Ofori, are currently at large.
He said before the operation, two members of the gang had surveyed the police station by intentionally visiting the place to lodge a complaint.
The court heard that convicts went to lodge a complainant with the Kwabenya police that someone had borrowed their money and refused to pay, for which a policeman told them to institute civil action at the court.
BY MALIK SULLEMANA