An Accra Circuit Court has sentenced a 30-year-old Ghanaian musician to a fine of GH¢2,400 for shoplifting assorted items at the Shoprite section of the West Hills Mall in Accra.
In default, the convict, David Ike, will serve three months in prison.
The items stolen included two pieces of King Cracker biscuit, one cake of Medisoft soap, two pieces of Lindor chocolate, two sets of floral tissue, underwear, two plastic bottles of water, one packet of Burger peanuts and one bag, all worth GH¢167.65.
The convict pleaded not guilty to the charge of stealing but was found guilty by the court after a full trial.
During cross-examination, although Ike had admitted picking up the items at the mall, he denied walking away with the items, arguing that he made an attempt to see the manager on duty in order to make payments for the items, but to no avail.
He also told the court that he was an Australian who came to Ghana in 2017 and had no permanent place of abode.
Meanwhile, Ike is expected to be put before a different court for allegedly using narcotic drugs.
Passing sentence, the presiding judge, Ms Ruby Naa Ayitey, a High Court judge sitting with additional responsibility as a Circuit Court judge, said the evidence produced by the prosecution against the convict was overwhelming.
She added that she had considered the fact that the stolen items had been retrieved and that their value was minimal.
She also said another factor considered in sentencing Ike was that he was not a Ghanaian and had no place of abode, a fact that was made known to the court during cross-examination.
Ms Ayitey also said she considered the fact that the accused person had no place of abode and had been in custody for the past two years since the trial started.
The facts, as presented by the prosecutor, Inspector Samuel Ahiabor, were that the complainant in the case was a security guard at West Hills Mall.
Inspector Ahiabor said about 8 p.m. on August 12, 2018, while people were busily shopping at the mall, Ike entered the Shoprite section of the mall, picked a bag and loaded it with the assorted items.
He said Ike concealed the items in a bag without paying for them.
He added that while Ike walked out of the shop with the goods, the security guard called him to produce the receipt for the items in the concealed bag.
“He could not produce any receipt and was, therefore, arrested and the items retrieved from him,” he said.
Inspector Ahiabor added that Ike was later handed over to the police on duty at the West Hills Mall.
The prosecutor said a further search conducted on Ike by the police revealed a wrapped substance suspected to be Indian hemp, adding that Ike was subsequently re-arrested, together with the exhibit, and handed over to the new Weija Police for investigation.
In his caution statement to the police, he said, Ike admitted the offences and was charged, after which the wrapped substance was forwarded to the Police Forensic Laboratory for examination.