Five years jail for caretaker who force-fed baby to death in 2021 viral CCTV footage at Agbogba school

Mugshot of Clara Yanyi-Ampah interspersed with screenshots of CCTV footage Mugshot of Clara Yanyi-Ampah interspersed with screenshots of CCTV footage

Clara Yanyi-Ampah, a 56-year-old professional nurse, who worked as a carer at Happy Bloomers School in Agbogba, has been sentenced to five years in prison for the death of an 11-month-old baby.

This was after the caregiver pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after entering plea bargain negotiations with the Attorney General’s office.

According to the agreement, the crime of homicide remains and both parties agreed and recommended to the Court a sentence of five (5) years of hard labor.

Based on Article 162 (h) of Law 1079 on plea bargaining, the Court before handing down the sentence asked the now convicted defendant for clarity.

Both the Prosecutor’s Office represented by Mercy Arthur, Senior State Prosecutor, and Richard Asare Baffour confirmed their agreement in court.

The accused, who had previously pleaded not guilty, changed her statement after the agreement.

His statement was later taken up after the court presided over by Judge Marie-Louise Simmons obtained clarification from the accused about the agreement.

by the court

Judge Marie-Louise Simmons, after hearing the parties, said: “On the basis of the guilty plea to the crime of involuntary manslaughter, the defendant is found guilty by her own plea and sentenced to five (5) years in prison. .

In handing down the sentence, “the Court has considered the eight months that the accused spent in custody from her arrest in May 2021 until she was granted bail.

“I have also considered the benefit of the plea agreement which has shortened the trial and reduced the burden on both the Prosecutor’s Office and the Court.”

The court said the accused (now convicted) is also not known to the law and appears to have shown remorse.

However, the Court said, “her reckless act of neglect towards the baby and her attitude of not singing after feeding her until another teacher found the baby unresponsive was in fact a reckless disregard for human life, hence the sentence.” imposed.”

Brief facts

According to the brief facts of the case, the complainants, Randy and Patricia Ackah-Mensah, a married couple, are the parents of Allegra Camille Yaba Ackah-Mensah, an 11-month-old girl who attended Happy Bloomers School in North Legon. in Accra.

He stated that she (deceased) was enrolled in school on April 6, 2021.

The accused, Clara Yanyi-Ampah, a 56-year-old alleged professional nurse, worked as a carer at Happy Bloomers school.

The Prosecutor’s Office stated that the accused had the responsibility of caring for baby Allegra and two other children at school.

“On May 18, 2021, baby Allegra, who had turned 11 months old that morning, went to school in good health.

“At approximately 2:50 p.m., Mrs. Gladys Osei, a teacher at the school, passed by the locker room and attempted to play with Allegra while the accused was changing her clothes, but found that she was unresponsive,” the Prosecutor’s Office stated.

He said he asked the defendant who was caring for Allegra if the baby was asleep, and she responded in the negative.

He said Gladys quickly informed the school administrator, who took Allegra to North Legon Hospital.

The Prosecution said that at around 3:07 pm, the school administrator called Randy (father) to inform him that his daughter had fallen ill and had been rushed to North Legon Hospital for medical attention, so he called to his wife and they went. to hospital.

“The medical report indicated that Allegra was unresponsive and had no heartbeat or pulse and all efforts to resuscitate her proved futile and she was declared clinically dead.

“Before changing Allegra’s clothes, the defendant had fed her,” it said.

“CCTV footage obtained from the school after Allegra’s death showed that the accused person put Allegra’s hands behind her back and poured food down her throat from a cup.

“According to the school’s feeding policy, young children Allegra’s age are fed with spoons.

“The school indicated that the cup the defendant used to feed baby Allegra belonged to the defendant.”

postmortem

“The post-mortem report indicated that Allegra’s trachea, bronchi and left lung were filled with food particles. The pathologist concluded that the cause of death was asphyxiation due to aspiration of food after force feeding.

The accused was charged with manslaughter contrary to section 50 of the Criminal Offenses Act 1960, Act 29 and arraigned before the High Court, Accra Criminal Division, for trial.