A 33-year-old man who was jailed 20 years for impregnating his biological15-year-old sister has had his punishment reduced on appeal.
Samuel Elorm Ababio, was on October 18, 2019, jailed for 5 and 20 years for incest and defilement respectively after he pleaded guilty on his first appearance.
The 33-year-old convict was said to have had sexual intercourse with his biological sister when she was nine years and got her pregnant at age 15 in 2019.
He pleaded guilty to the offences at the Circuit Court presided over by Her Honour Rita Abrokwah Doko before his conviction and was subsequently jailed for 5 and 20 years which were to run concurrently.
Dissatisfied with his sentence, however, the convict through his lawyers appeal against his conviction and its associated sentence.
Delivering its judgment of the appeal, the Criminal Division of the Accra High Court presided over by Justice Lydia Osei Marfo said, though the conviction was right, the punishment was harsh.
According to the court, an innocent child has been brought to this world and needs a father to take care of him.
The court also said, though heavy punishment is aimed at serving as a deterrent, the country has for some time now been considering community sentencing that could curtail punishment of this nature.
Consequent to this, the court set aside the judgment of the Circuit Court date on October 18, 2019, and held that the convict’s punishment should be reduced.
“The appeal is disallowed in respect of the conviction. It is however allowed on the sentenced,” the court said.
“The judgment of the Circuit Court is set aside and in its place, Appellant is to serve three years on ‘Count 1’ (Incest) and 10 years on ‘Count 2″ (Defilement) the effective date on conviction (October 18, 2019).”
The brief facts of the case were that the complainant Franklina Angmor is a social worker at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, Social Welfare Unit, Ridge, Accra, while the victim – a 15-year-old Junior High School 2 dropout is the sister of accused Samuel Elorm Ababio, a 33-year-old self-employed.
The prosecution said, somewhere in 2013, when the victim was nine years old, she was living with her parents at Sankore in the Bono Region when the accused brought her to Accra to stay with him and enrolled her in school.
It said they lived at Kokrobite, a suburb of Accra and the accused started having sexual intercourse with his sister when she was 9 years old and had had multiple sexual intercourses with her and warned her not to disclose the sexual act to anyone.
The Prosecution further indicated that, in the early part of 2019, the victim became pregnant, and the accused was the one taking care of her ante natal.
On October 3, 2019, when the victim was in labor, the accused rushed her to Bortianor Polyclinic and she was referred to the Greater Accra Regional Hospital, where she delivered a bouncing baby boy.
*Non-payment of bills*
The victim according to the prosecution was later discharged but was however referred to the social welfare unit for assistance due to non-payment of bills.
The prosecution said, on October 16, 2019, the victim mentioned her eldest brother, the accused as the one who defiled and impregnated her and also being responsible as the father of her newborn baby.
“On 17/10/2019, a report was made to Accra Regional DOVVSU. The complainant was issued a medical form to be sent to the hospital for endorsement.
“On the same day, the accused visited his sister at the hospital where the victim again identified him as the father of her baby.
“The accused was however arrested and in his caution statement, he admitted the offence. Investigations revealed that the accused is the eldest among 9 siblings including the victim.
“Both the parents and the siblings were all aware of the case. After investigation, he was charged with the offences.”