Bantama Gang Rape Suspects Each Jailed 36 Months
The four suspects arrested for gang-raping a teenage girl in Bantama, Ashanti Region, last year, have been sentenced to serve 36 months each in a senior correctional facility.
Three of the suspects were charged with defilement and conspiracy to defile and the other with aiding and abetting.
Despite the recommendation by a Social Welfare Inquiry report that the suspect charged with aiding and abetting the crime be sentenced to 12 months, Her Worship Mrs. Christian Cann who presided over Kumasi District Magistrate Court 2 sentenced all four to serve the same term.
Mr Yahaya Seidu, one of the counsel for the juvenile suspects, told journalists that: “Considering the circumstances, we believe that the sentence was too harsh. All of them are first-time offenders and especially because they are juveniles”.
Mr Seidu said: “We put in a plea of mitigation but at the end of the day, the judge with the panel considered that the juveniles should be sent to the senior correction sentence for 3 years. This sentence is the maximum that can be imposed on a juvenile”, he added, saying: “We were not satisfied with the report and the manner in which it was done.”
“We believe”, Mr Seidu added, “The social welfare did not take their time to do a proper investigation and came out with the report because the order was made on Monday and on Tuesday the report was served on us. Notwithstanding that we accepted it.
“We believe that the judge erred, so, if the juveniles’ parents are mindful of coming back to us to file an appeal, we believe that the judge should have given a reason why she disagrees with the recommended 12 months sentence to one of the juveniles.”
The fifth suspect, 20-year-old Ernest Asare, was jailed for seven years by the circuit court in May.