37-year-old driver, Philip Kitoe who lived at Nungua, a suburb of Accra was sentenced to sixteen months in prison after his unsuccessful attempt to steal to save his 19-year-old son, Oswald Kitoe.
Mr Kitoe said Oswald’s arm was slashed off after a fight ensued between his friends and their opponents when they were playing football. He said, his innocent son said whiles the game was on-going, he went to buy water for his team mates, only to return to meet a scuffle.
“My son was rushed to the hospital and I followed up after my brother came to tell me about the incident. At the hospital, Oswald told me that, when he returned with the water, four boys from the opposing team surrounded him after one of them pointed him out as been a member of those they were fighting with. One of them pulled out a machete and cut his arm.” He told crimecheckghana.
The father of two who says he is popular in his area, said he managed to pay for his son’s medical treatment after he took a loan from one of his friends using his scooter and his car as collateral. He said he thought, there were no outstanding charges until doctors again demanded Ten Thousand Ghana cedis for the discharge of his son.
Kitoe indicated that, after he struggled to pay the bill, he started conceiving criminal thoughts.
“I became frustrated when doctors demanded the money. After my colleagues and family couldn’t help me, I contacted an old friend who worked in a trawling boat. He also introduced me to some Chinese men but I couldn’t work with them because of harassment.”
He added “there was no hope so I considered stealing. I went to The Brigade Estate with a friend to steal but unfortunately we were caught by the residents after a lady hooted at us.” He said.
Kitoe said after his unsuccessful stealing attempt, he was arrested and arraigned before court. The judge, he said, fined him Two Thousand Four Hundred Ghana cedis or in default he had to serve a sixteen months jail term at the Awutu Camp Prison. He said he couldn’t pay so he had to serve the sentence.
The poor driver who had served seven months of his sentence, shed tears because he said his wife is deceased and he did not know who was taken care of his son till he finishes serving his sentence.
His plea touched the heart of a philanthropist, Ali Ibrahim and through him, Crime Check Foundation, CCF paid his fine for his release.
Kitoe thanked CCF and Ali Ibrahim for coming to his aid. “May God bless you and grant you longlife.” He said.
The Petty Offenders Project
Through the project, CCF has paid the fines of more than six hundred petty offenders leading to their release from prison.