A 61-year-old man wept uncontrollably when the Accra Circuit Court on Thursday sentenced him and a driver to a total of 60 years imprisonment for attacking a taxi driver before robbing him of his vehicle.
Emmanuel Kwabena Henaku could not control himself and burst into tears after the judge, Mr Francis Obiri, had pronounced judgment.
Henaku said his incarceration would make life unbearable for his nine children.
His 29-year-old accomplice, Joseph Acquah, who was sentenced to 50 years for robbery, took the sentence in his stride without any comment at all.
Henaku was sentenced to 10 years for conspiring with Acquah to rob the taxi driver. He was also sentenced to three years for dishonestly receiving the stolen Toyota Corolla car with registration number GC 6196 -11 but the sentences are to run concurrently.
Acquah was also sentenced to 10 years with high labour and the sentences are to run concurrently.
The convicts were arraigned on charges of conspiracy to rob, robbery and dishonestly receiving a vehicle but they pleaded not guilty until the determination of the case that they were found guilty on all the counts.
Before sentencing the two, Mr Obiri took note of the fact that robbery had become a national issue and the fact that people should be protected to go about their activities freely.
He said that just as he was to temper justice with mercy he found himself in an unpleasant situation to impose a harsher sentence to serve as a deterrent to other like-minded persons.
The judge said that the prosecution was able to prove the guilt of the convicts beyond reasonable doubt and that all the basic ingredients of robbery, to wit, the use of force or threats to harm were established.
According to the facts of the case as narrated by a State Attorney, Mr Seth Awere-Opanyinyena, the taxi driver, who was on his usual rounds on October 20, 2012 was hired at Kaneshie by the convicts together with two others who are at large to take them to Tesano at about 9:30 p.m.
On reaching a spot at Tesano Global International Church headquarters, one of the driver’s captors requested to alight of which the driver obliged and stopped.
However, as soon as the driver stopped, Acquah attacked him by grabbing his neck before they took the car from him.
The driver then reported the incident to his owner, who is the managing director of Midland Logistics, who also reported the matter to the police.
The police followed a tracking system in the car and traced it to Cape Coast where it was retrieved from the convicts after their arrest.
When the convicts were brought to the Tesano Police Station to assist in investigations, the taxi driver pointed at Acquah as the person who attacked him.
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