Josephine Panyin Mensah, the lady who faked her kidnapping and pregnancy at Takoradi in the Western Region, has been fined GH¢7,200.
The court said failure to pay the fine within 14 days, the convict will serve the maximum sentence of three years.
The court, presided over by Mr Michael Ampadu explained that Josephine would have served the maximum sentence as a deterrent to others, but, for the report that she is now pregnant.
Mr Ampadu noted that, Josephine in the presence of independent witnesses confessed that she was not pregnant at the time she reported she had been kidnapped by some unknown men to an unknown destination and later, resurfaced at Axim.
“Her confessions said it all. The statement caused fear and alarm, it caused enough trauma and tension in the country. That 12 pregnant women had been kidnapped was a serious matter and this whole country was in shock,” he added.
Mr Ampadu stated that for somebody to plan, take the risk, fake a pregnancy and roam five days from Takoradi to Axim, sleeping in the bush, was worrying.
The court, however, discharged Josephine on the charge of deceit of public officer.
Josephine, who pleaded not guilty to the charges, wept throughout as Mr Ampadu gave his judgement.
The prosecution relied on the evidence of eight witnesses including Michael Simmons, husband of Josephine; Agnes Essel, mother; Ebenezer Nyanney of Axim, Dr George Peprah, Takoradi Hospital (European Hospital); the medical officer at Axim Government Hospital, Dr Jerry James Abrokwa and Dr Samuel Agyemang, a gynaecologist at the Effia Nkwanta Regional Hospital (ENRH).
It was the case of the prosecution that Josephine resides at Old John Sarbah Road, in Takoradi, and on September 16, 2021, Michael Simons, the husband, reported to the police, that his wife, 10 months pregnant, and living with her mother, Agnes Essel, left home for a health walk and did not return.
Prosecution added that on September 21, 2021, while a massive search was in progress, police had intelligence which indicated that Josephine had been found at Axim, in the Nzema East Municipality.
The police went to Axim and Josephine was conveyed from the premises of the Jehovah Witnesses Kingdom Hall to Axim Government Hospital for treatment.
The prosecutor indicated that, the accused later narrated that she was pregnant and kidnapped during a walk on September 16, 2021, at about 4:30am, by unknown people who covered her mouth with cloth making her unconscious.
The accused again narrated that she met about 12 other unknown women kidnapped by her captors and they were all killed except her, and that she gave birth to a baby girl and afterwards falling unconscious for the second time and had no idea how she got to Axim, the court heard.
Meanwhile, doctors who examined the accused at the Axim Government Hospital, told police that they did not notice any postpartum sign and that, doctors at ENRH also confirmed that, she had not given birth within the six days that she went missing and resurfaced.
FROM CLEMENT ADZEI BOYE, TAKORADI