A 55-year-old farmer, Isaac Donkor, who mistook a hunter for a game, shot and killed him, has been sentenced to three years imprisonment and a GH￠600 fine by the Tarkwa Circuit Court.
In default of the fine, Donkor will serve six years in prison and both sentences are to run consecutively.
He was charged with negligently causing harm and possessing a firearm without authority. He pleaded guilty on both counts.
Superintendent Juliana Essel-Dadzie, prosecuting, told the court, presided over by Mrs Hathia Ama Manu, that the complainant, Osman Awuni, was a farmer and brother to Aziz Abukbil, 37, now deceased.
She said Awuni, Abukbil and Donkor lived at Timtimhwe, a community along the Tarkwa-Bogoso Highway, in the Western Region.
On Monday, January 16, 2023, at about 1300 hours, Abukbil went on a hunting expedition in a bush on the outskirts of Timtimhwe but never returned.
The prosecutor said the next day, the family, elders and youth of the community mounted a search for him and around 0930 hours, they found Abukbil dead in the bush at Timtimhwe with gunshot wounds on his face and arms.
The prosecutor said they reported the incident to the Bogoso Police and some officers were dispatched to the scene, inspected the body and conveyed it to the mortuary for preservation and autopsy.
While the investigation was ongoing, Donkor reported himself to the Bogoso police, confessing that he killed Abukbil with his unregistered CBC single barrel shotgun during a hunting expedition, but was afraid to inform the police then, Superintendent Essel-Dadzie said.
Donkor was subsequently arrested and detained to assist the police with investigations.
The prosecution said on that fateful day, around 1500 hours, “Donkor went for hunting and in the process saw an animal in the form of a rat ‘Odompo’ about 50 meters away, shot it and went closer to pick the animal, only to realise that he had killed Abukbil with his CBC single barrel shotgun.”
On January 24, 2023, Dr Frederick Yaw Sarpong, the Medical Superintendent of Tarkwa Municipal Hospital, performed a postmortem examination on the body of the deceased giving the cause of death as “Traumatic head injury”.
The CBC single-barrel gun, which was retrieved from Donkor, was forwarded to the Police Forensics Laboratory in Accra for examination.
On May 17, same year, a ballistic examination report was received, stating that the exhibit gun was found fired and gunshot residue in the barrel when received, the prosecution said.
Donkor was arraigned at the Prestea District Magistrate’s Court and charged with murder.
His plea was not taken and he was remanded into prison custody at Tarkwa.
After investigation, a duplicate docket was prepared and forwarded to the Attorney General’s Office, Sekondi for study and advice.
On December 12, 2023, the Bogoso Police Command received a report from the Attorney General’s Office, Sekondi, with the advice that Donkor should be charged with negligently causing harm and possessing firearm without authority.
The court, during the ruling, ordered that the CBC single barrel shotgun should be destroyed at the premises of the Tarkwa Circuit Court.