Set aside 90-day sentence of Akuapem Poloo – Lawyer files appeal

Lawyer for Ms Rosemond Brown Alade, alias Akuapem  Poloo, who was sentenced to 90 days imprisonment for obscene publication has filed notices of appeal and bail before the Accra High Court and urged the court to set aside the sentence.

He contends that the custodial sentence imposed on his client was harsh because Ms Alade who was a first time offender had pleaded guilty and shown remorse.

Mr Andrew K. Vortia asked the court to rather impose a fine instead of the custodial sentence.

The lawyer would move the two appeals tomorrow before the Criminal Court (3) Division of the Accra High Court.

GROUNDS FOR BAIL

In the motion on notice for bail, Mr Vortia stated that the 90 days sentence was so short that if the applicant is not admitted to bail immediately by the time the appeal is heard, she would have finished serving the sentence.

The lawyer argued that exceptional circumstances existed in the case which the trial court ought to have fully considered.

In the particulars of exceptional circumstances, Mr Vortia argued that the applicant is a single parent, a young offender who never had a brawl with the law and ought not to have been given a custodial sentence.

The other particulars were that the child whose right the applicant was said to have violated, which the law is seeking to protect should not become the victim of circumstances by reason of the harsh custodial sentence imposed on his mother by the trial court.

Counsel stated due to the overcrowded nature of the prisons by reason of which the state had instituted measures to decongest the prisons, including the introduction of Justice for All Programme and the COVID-19 pandemic, non custodial sentence would have been a more appropriate punishment.

GROUNDS OF APPEAL 

Mr Vortia stated inter alia that his client was a first time offender, that the trial judge ought to have considered the guilty plea as a mitigating factor in imposing her sentence and the fact that the judge ought to have considered imposing a fine as a first option, instead of a custodial sentence.

He said the custodial sentence would also burden the state and might further ridicule the child whose peers are likely to tease him.

Mr Vortia argued that as a breadwinner for her entire family for which the wellbeing of her son revolves around, the effect on the son cannot be quantified.

He said taking the convict away from the seven-year-old son was not the best decision  when the law actually requires  that the interest of the child should be of paramount interest.

On June 30, 2020, Ms Brown  celebrated her son’s seventh birthday and took her nude pictures together with her son, who was also half-naked and posted same on her Instagram page, which had since gone viral on social media.

Prosecuting, Chief Insp  Asantewaa, told the court that the complainant is Mr Bright K. Appiah,  the Director of Child Rights International Ghana.

The policewoman said the conduct of Ms Brown had undermined the dignity of her seven-year-old son.

The prosecution said the complainant petitioned the Director-General CID and the matter was referred to the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit (DOVVSU).

The court heard that when Ms Brown was arrested, she admitted the posting the nude picture she took with her son on social media but explained that she did so inadvertently.

But Chief Inspector Asantewaa insisted that the convict deliberately posted the nude picture on social media.

A write-up accompanying the picture read: “I am naked in front of you because this is how naked I was giving birth to you, so in case you find me lying somewhere don’t pass by but see me as your mom who brought you to life.”

 Until her conviction, Ms Brown was on a GH¢100,000 bail.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA 

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