Kwaku Appiagyei’s hopes of getting two plastic chairs for free dashed as the judged hearing his case convicts him to a six month prison sentence. Appiagyei, a 19 year old farmer in the Ashanti region tells crimechecksghana that he took the plastic chairs valued at sixty Ghana cedis (60.00)at a funeral grounds, two days after the funeral, thinking the owner will not need them.
He sent them to his room which he claims has only a sleeping mat on the floor. “The chairs had been there for two days so I thought they didn’t need them”, he said. He was however arrested after the owner lodged a complaint with the police. The court according to Appiagyei asked him to pay a fine of nine hundred Ghana cedis (900.00) or in default serve a ten month prison sentence after pleading guilty with explanation that his intention was not to steal.
Appiagyei who claims his father is late and that his mother is mentally challenged could not pay the fine, so had to be whisked away to Kumasi Central prison to begin his sentence. Luck however smiled on him when after two months into his sentence, Crime Check Foundation, CCF, as part of its petty offenders project, paid Appiagyei’s fine for his release.
The Executive Director of CCF and Ambassador Extraordinaire of prisons, Ibrahim Oppong Kwarteng told crimecheckghana that the organization will continue to push for the passage of the Non-Custodial Sentencing Bill into law to ensure that petty offenders community service. “what is the sense in pushing petty offenders into prison to spend the taxpayers money feeding them when they could have been desilting the gutters, sweeping the streets and planting for food and jobs”, Mr. Kwarteng said.