Supreme Court throws out serving convict’s appeal

The Supreme Court on Tuesday threw out an appeal filed by a 42 year old man currently serving  a 30 year jail term saying “the planning and execution of the offense of robbery by the appellant was serious.”
According to the court, it also did not find any merit in the mitigating factors filed by Stephen Nyarko, the serving convict.
Nyarko was sentenced to 30 years on the charges of conspiracy to rob and robbery.
Ghana News Agency investigations revealed that the serving convict has served 13 years of the sentence. 
The serving convict appealed to the court for mitigation; describing his sentence by the lower court as harsh hence the plea for review of the sentence and possible reduction.
According to the Court its review decision was based on the strategic role Nyarko played in executing the robbery and the impact on the victim.
The Court said Nyarko’s 30 year jail term was based on the critical role the convict played by providing surveillance report on the victim to the robbery gang.
The serving convict monitored the movements of the victim and provided information to his accomplices to facilitate the robbery.
Mr. Kinsford Debrah, lawyer for Nyarko in his submissions before the court prayed that the court tamper justice with mercy and reduce his client’s sentence to 15 years.
On the lawyer’s plead the court noted: “You will not ask for reduction in sentence, but you are telling us the number of years that the court should give you? 
The lawyer thereafter apologized to the court and asked for reduction in sentence…“I ask that the punishment be reduced considerable”. 
Propounding argument for the reduction of punishment, Mr. Debrah, said the lower court did not consider mitigating factors before passing the sentence.
Mr. Debrah argued further that his client was a first time offender, married and the bread winner of his family.
The Apex Court after the lawyer’s submission asked the serving convict what he had learnt whilst in incarceration, he responded: “I have realized that committing the offense was not the best. I have now turned to God and therefore serving at the Prison Seminary”.
“So why don’t you remain there and convert more souls,” the court asked.
Ghana News Agency observed that Mrs. Elizabeth Sackifio, a Principal State Attorney, representing the state had wanted an adjournment to enable the state respond to the appeal, was however compelled by the court to make verbal argument in respect of the appeal.
On why the State had not filed respond to the plea; Mrs. Sackifio, told the Court it was due to the State Attorney’s industrial action recently. 
“As a result of the strike I was not available to file a respond to the statement of case of Nyarko”.
The Court said “we cannot be waiting for you, whilst people’s rights are being trampled on”.
At this point the GNA observed that the case was stood down for some hours to enable the Principal State Attorney “go and come back to respond to the appeal”.
GNA observed that Mrs. Sackifio on her return hours after prayed the court not to disturb the 30 year jail term as the appellant played a key role in the robbery.
According to the Principal State Attorney, the punishment of robbery with offensive weapons attracts stiffer punishments.
Mrs. Sackifio recounted that the society ought to be protected from offense such as this, hence the sentence ought not to be disturbed.
Source: GNA
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