Convicted juvenile cries for justice

A 15-year-old convicted juvenile on Tuesday appealed to an Accra Fast Track High Court (AFTHC) to set aside his 10-year sentence imposed by an Accra Circuit Court.

Jeremiah Quarshie allegedly gave his age to be 18, before the court and was convicted after pleading guilty to robbery.

In an appeal before the AFTHC, Quarshie’s Counsel Mr Charles Quist, told the court that his client was 15.

Mr Quist said his client who was a juvenile should have been sent to the Correctional Home and not Nsawam Medium Security for adults.

Counsel said his client was now languishing in Nsawam Medium Prison interacting with adults adding “one cannot tell the implications it would have on my client.”

Mr Quist said under the Juvenile Justice Act, a juvenile who commits most grievous offence was to serve a three-year-sentence.

He noted that the lower court was not informed of his client’s age when being convicted adding his birth certificate indicated that he was 15.

“He was born on October 18, 1995,” he added.

Counsel said his client had already served six months in prison and pointed out that his client would not forge a certificate in anticipation of a crime.

Mr Samuel Ansah, Senior Attorney, however, opposed the application by defence counsel.

He said the convict pleaded guilty to robbery before the lower court had indicated that he was 18, and described the change in the age as an afterthought.

Mr Ansah said investigations conducted at the Birth and Death Registry, indicated that the supposed birth certificate was witnessed by one Nii Odenkey in 1995.

However, the said Odenkey had gone on retirement since 1993 and wondered how he obtained the birth certificate.

He was of the opinion that the documents before the court had been “seriously doctored” and should be examined well.

Mr Ansah said “hands of the appellant were dirty” and urged the court to dismiss the application because it was an afterthought.

The AFTHC after listening to both submissions fixed September 6, for ruling.

Quarshie in the company of a friend robbed one Vivian Dolphin of her mobile phone and other things all valued at GHc195.

Source: GNA

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