A Driver’s Mate (Bus Conductor) has been sentenced to thirty-nine (39) years in prison with hard labour, by an Accra Circuit Court for robbery.
The Accused, Mark Keelson, according to the prosecution, was a member of a robbery gang who had been terrorizing residents of Kasoa in the Central Region.
Mark Keelson robbed one Police Inspector of his laptop, mobile phone, laptop bag and some amount of money all to the tune of GH¢ 6,930.00.
The Accused also robbed one Solomon Gborglah of his two mobile phones, four gold chains and cash, all in the sum of GH¢ 4,900.00.
The Accused was thus charged with three counts of robbery and conspiracy to commit crime to wit, robbery, respectively and he admitted having committed the offences preferred against him by the police in his preliminary statement before court.
Mark Keelson was then convicted on his own plea.
‘I pray the court to deal with me leniently’, the Accused pleaded for mitigation.
In sentencing the Accused, the court took into consideration the Accused person’s plea for mitigation and the fact that the Accused had been in police custody for six days.
The presiding judge, His Honour, Aboagye Tandoh also took into consideration the severity of the offence and the mode adopted by the Accused in committing the robbery, with no regard for human beings.
His Honour further stated that the nature of the robbery incident and the conduct of the Accused warranted (required) not only a deterrent sentence but also a sentence to keep the Accused away for a long time to sway people (Armed Men) who deny people of their hard earned properties and also subject them (victims) to pain and humiliation.
‘The Accused person is sentenced to thirty-nine (39) years imprisonment with hard labour on each count, to run concurrently’, the Judge delivered judgment.
In a separate development, the Accused, Mark Keelson is facing a number of robbery related charges before the same court and he denied all the offences leveled against him by the police. He has therefore been remanded into lawful custody to reappear on Friday, the 12th of February, 2016.
Background to the Case
Earlier, the Prosecution asserted that Complainants in this case are six families, including a serving Police Inspector who lives at Galilea and Kalabule, both suburbs of Amanfro in the Ga West Municipal Assembly, while the the Accused is a Driver’s Mate (Bus Conductor) and resides at Kasoa in the Central Region.
The Police Officer said that on the 29th of June, 2015, between the hours of 12:40am and 2:30am, six armed men, including the Accused, Mark Keelson, stormed the houses of the six families, adding that the armed men forcibly broke into the victims’ rooms and subjected them to severe beatings amidst firing of guns before taking away the victims’ valuables including huge sums of money, mobile phones, laptops and jewellery.
‘The armed men also raped three women during the robbery attack. The case was reported to the police and a full scale investigation was launched. Two members of the robbery gang namely, Issac Kene and David Ahortor were arrested on the 1st and 3rd of July, 2015 respectively’, the Prosecutor added.
The Prosecution also stated that the armed men had in their possession a single barrel gun, a locally manufactured pistol, sixty rounds of live cartridges, face masks and some of the robbed items which were identified by their victims.
The Police Officer further informed the court that on the 17th of July, 2015, the armed men were put before an Accra Circuit Court presided over by His Lordship, Justice Francis Obiri and jailed thirty-five (35) years with hard labour after they pleaded guilty to the charges leveled against them. The armed men are currently serving their sentences at the Medium Security Prison at Nsawam, he added.
‘A member of the robbery gang, Daniel Akorli was lynched by a mob at Obuom Road, Kasoa while on another robbery expedition some days later. On the 21st of January, 2016, the Kasoa District Police acted on intelligence and arrested the Accused, Mark Keelson, alias Ablode from his hideout at Opetekwei, a suburb of Accra’, the Prosecutor said.
The Prosecution also stated that during interrogations, the Accused admitted to being a member of a number of robbery incidents in and around Kasoa, including this very case and mentioned the last member by name, Edward Ayekple, who is currently on the run (at large).
In the Accused person’s Caution Statement at the police station, the Accused admitted the offences and pleaded to be dealt with leniently. After investigations, the Accused was accordingly charged with the offences, the Police Officer told the court