The Magistrate’s Court in Half-Assini, in the Western Region, has fined a teenage mother, Abena Serwaah, Gh¢720 for stealing a hand bag containing a mobile phone and an unspecified amount of money from a store.
In default of payment, the 18-year-old unemployed from Agona Swedru, in the Central Region, would serve nine months in prison in hard labour. She pleaded to the charge of stealing.
However, the Court, presided over by Mr Abdul Majid Illiasu, ordered that since Serwaah said she would not be able to pay the fine, her two-year old daughter, should be sent to the nearest Orphanage, for the convict to serve her time.
The Court further ordered the convict to compensate the complainant with Gh¢500.
Prosecuting, Police Sergeant Isaac Ebo Otoo, told the Court that the complainant in the case was Ms Gifty Morrison, a store keeper at Half-Assini.
He said about 0730 hours, on Wednesday, March 30, this year, Serwaah went to the complainant’s store to buy a silver shine.
The Prosecution said as soon as she left the store, the complainant detected that her hand bag, which was in front of the store, was missing.
The Prosecution said the bag contained more than GH¢500.00 and a Techno-phone valued at GH¢60.00, which had been loaded with GH¢216. 00 worth of call credit, which she used for her credit transfer business.
The complainant’s Voter Identification Card was also in the bag.
He said the complainant, consequently, suspected that Serwaah had stolen her bag and, therefore, searched for her, but she did not find her.
Sergeant Otoo said Madam Morrison later reported the matter to the Half Assini Police and led them to a spot, near the Christian Academy School, at about 1530 hours, and Serwaah was arrested there.
According to the Prosecution, during interrogation the convict admitted to stealing the bag with its contents.
Serwaah told the Police that she had given the phone to one Doggy to defray her indebtedness to him, and the money to a certain boy, whose name she could not give, to buy clothing for her daughter.
The Prosecution said when Doggy saw the convict and the Police approaching him, he took to his heels, leaving the bag behind.
Sergeant Otoo said a search of the bag revealed three mobile phones, including the Techno- phone, but without the credit.