Stephen Agyekum pleaded with the judge to tamper justice with mercy, saying he would not commit such an offence again
In a sentence reminiscent of Antoa justice, the Akyem Swedru Circuit Court yesterday ordered a goat thief to hang the stolen animal around his neck together with a placard with the inscription, “I am a goat thief,” and parade through the principal streets of the town under police escort.
The punishment is akin to that which is meted out to people found guilty by the priest of the popular Antoa shrine in Ashanti and in some cases, the courts of chiefs.
The Presiding Judge, Mr Emmanuel Brew, also ordered that the thief, Stephen Ohene Agyekum, 30, an ex-convict and native of Asante Juaben, must sign a bond of 24 months to be of good behaviour, failing which he would serve a two-month prison term.
A large number of people, comprising adults and children, followed Agyekum, hooting at him while he served his sentence.] The facts of the case, according to the prosecutor, Detective Chief Inspector R. K. Sabbah, were that Agyekum, unemployed, and two others now at large, stole a goat belonging to Madam Vida Yeboah at Akyem Swedru around 3 a.m. on August 20, 2015 and sold it to Madam Veronica Adwoa Opare for GH¢65.
Madam Opare kept the goat in her kitchen and went out. On her return home, she met the convict, who had broken into the kitchen, untied the goat and was about to take it away.
Madam Opare held the convict and with the help of some men, she sent him to the Akyem Swedru Police Station and lodged a complaint.
During police interrogation, Agyekum admitted having stolen the animal with the two others to sell in order to get his daily bread as he found it very difficult to make ends meet since he was released from prison recently.
Agyekum pleaded with the judge to tamper justice with mercy, saying he would not commit such an offence again.
However, after studying Agyekum’s offences of conspiracy, unlawful entry, causing damage and stealing, Mr Brew ordered him to carry the goat around his neck together with the placard and parade up and down the principal streets of Akyem Swedru as his punishment.