Lawyers for four juveniles jailed for gang-raping a young woman at Bantama in Kumasi have said he will appeal the sentence.
One of the lawyers, Yahaya Seidu, has described the sentences as “too harsh” and believes the refusal of the court to follow guidelines in the Social Welfare Inquiry Report presents reasonable grounds for an appeal.
A Social Welfare Inquiry Report, which is the reference for convicting juveniles, named the four persons as first time offenders.
A Juvenile Court in Kumasi recently committed four of them, deemed minors, to 36 months term each at a Senior Correctional Facility two weeks after conviction.
“The juveniles are normally sentenced based on Social Welfare Inquiry Report as contained in the Juvenile Justice Act and the report clearly stated that all of them were juveniles and first-time offenders so we were thinking they will be given a chance to reform,” said the lawyer for the four convicts.
“For one of the boys the social welfare report clearly stated that he should be given twelve months and the law says that if the judge is not going to follow the social welfare report, a reason must be given…but the judge did not give any reasons for acting contrary,” he added.
“I have spoken to [their] parents and they have agreed to appeal the court’s decision. We will have further meetings and soon you will hear from us,” he revealed further.
Five boys were arrested in January this year by the police after they allegedly had non-consensual sexual intercourse with a girl believed to be under-age.
The video of the incident that went viral on social media showed the teenage girl pinned down on a mattress by one of her abusers while his accomplices took turns to sexually abuse her.
An assemblyman in the area caused the arrest after the video went viral on social media.
Twenty-year-old Ernest Asare was sentenced to seven years in prison with hard labour, while the other actors, who are minors and students in junior and senior high schools were referred to a District Court for sentencing.