A Maidservant has been handed a two-year jail term for stealing and causing unlawful damage, by a Circuit Court in Accra.
The Accused, Linda Thompson, stole the sum of $20,000.00 and GH 6,000.00, from one Gloria Akatugba, her madam. Linda deliberately caused damage to the room door to steal the aforementioned amount of money.
The Accused was therefore charged with two counts of stealing and causing unlawful damage respectively but she denied any wrongdoing in both her preliminary statement and evidence-in-defence in court.
The court, having considered the corroborated evidence given by the prosecution witnesses and the Accused person’s evidence-in-chief, however, convicted Linda on both charges preferred against her by the police.
Pronouncing judgment, His Honour, Aboagye Tandoh, stated that the Accused in her evidence-in-defence completely denied the charge, stating that she did not steal any GHÈ»6,000.00 and US$20,000.00.
The presiding Judge also said that the Accused however, admitted seeing GHÈ»5,000.00 in an envelope in the Complainant’s room, so she kept the GHÈ»5, 000.00 at home, adding that the Accused further admitted that she also saw dollars but the dollars she saw was given to a lady at Bank of Africa, who she said changed it into the cedi equivalent of GHÈ»20,000.00.
His Honour enunciated that there was sufficient evidence to show that indeed the Accused appropriated the dollars and the cedis the Complainant left behind.
The Judge added that the issue was to determine whether or not the money was US$20,000.00 and GHÈ»6,000.00
‘Even though it is not unusual for the Complainant to leave US$20,000.00 at home and GHÈ»6,000.00 covered in a towel, it was a bit unusual but I find as a fact that indeed the amount involved was US$20,000.00 and GHÈ»6,000.00’, the trial Judge asserted.
His Honour further stated that for the Accused person who has had an opportunity to live with the Complainant for five to six months and had become GHÈ»22,000.00 richer according to her own evidence, it was dishonest appropriation.
The Judge also said that there was sufficient evidence on record that the Accused indeed intentionally and unlawfully caused damage to the Complainant’s door.
His Honour therefore found the Accused guilty on both counts leveled against her by the Prosecution.
The presiding Judge, in sentencing the Accused, took into consideration the Accused person’s plea for mitigation and the fact that the Accused was a first time offender.
His Honour also took into consideration the conduct of the Accused and the method adopted in carrying out the act at the blind side of the Complainant until arrested, stating that such conduct of persons who had been accepted to live with people should not be encouraged.
‘The Accused is sentenced to two years imprisonment with hard labour on both counts and should also refund US$18,000.00 to the Complainant’ the trial Judge said, delivering the judgment.
Background to the Case
The facts of the case as presented by Inspector Georgina Agbodaka are that the Complainant is a teacher and resides at Mama’s-Inn, Dansoman in Accra while the Accused, Linda Thompson is a maidservant and lives with the Complainant in the same house.
The Prosecutor said that on the 3rd of November 2014, both the Complainant and the Accused left home for school at Dansoman Sharp Curve, adding that all the doors to the Complainant’s apartment were properly locked before both of them left for school.
‘The Accused, who normally closed earlier than the Complainant got home at about 1:30pm. The Accused on reaching the house, broke into the Complainant’s bedroom and took money, the sum of US$20,000.00 and GHÈ»6,000.00 respectively from the Complainant’s wardrobe. After that, she deliberately caused damage to the main door lock and the padlock of the main door’s burglarproof’, Prosecution added.
Inspector Agbodaka also informed the court that about an hour later, the Accused called the Complainant and told her that when she came home, she realized that thieves had broken into the apartment, creating an impression that the theft took place before she came home.
The police officer further stated that the Complainant lodged a complaint at the police station and during investigations, the Accused was picked up by the police. She was interrogated by the police and she admitted the offence.
Prosecution added that further enquiries revealed that after the theft, the Accused went and deposited an amount of GHÈ»22,000.00 into her account at Bank of Africa. The Accused later went back to the bank and withdrew GHÈ»10,000.00, leaving a balance of GHÈ»12,000.00.
‘Afterwards, the police withdrew the GHÈ»12,000.00 and handed it over to the Complainant. The Accused was therefore charged with the offences of stealing and causing unlawful damage, and was later brought before court’, Inspector Agbodaka told the court earlier before judgment was pronounced.