Davidson Afotey Odai, an electrician who had sex with his daughter and caused two abortions for her, has been sentenced to 24 years imprisonment in hard labour by an Accra Circuit Court.
Odai, charged with defilement, incest and two counts of criminal abortion, pleaded guilty.
Even when family members had conducted purification for his wife and daughter when the matter was first reported, Odai continued to have sex with the victim.
He told the court that he did not know what came over him and that anytime he had sex with his 14-year-old daughter, now 16 years, he regretted his actions.
According to him, he paid GH¢1,100 for the abortion to be carried out for her daughter and spent GH¢65.00 for medication.
In the first abortion, Odai said he gave the victim, who is his first child, drugs to swallow and insert for the first abortion and the second, he paid GH¢1,100 at LEKMA Hospital so a safe abortion could be conducted.
Odai, answering questions from the trial Judge, Mrs Christina Cann, admitted that his wife had been denying him sex but, “That was not the reason why I had sex with my daughter. I have prayed and pleaded with God.”
“I am pleading with the court to forgive me and have mercy on me. I heard about safe abortion on the radio so that was why I took my daughter to the hospital,” the convict told the Court.
The Court, in handing down the sentence, indicated that it considered the gravity of the offence, the degree of revulsion by the law, increase in the menace, the age of the victim and the trauma she had suffered as a result of the act.
According to the Court, Odai, “did not show remorse as he gave a detailed account of what he did to his daughter. The accused is a father to the victim and instead of protecting her dignity and sanctity, he used her as his sex mate”.
The Court was informed that Child Rights International had taken up the matter and had promised to provide counselling to the victim who is in Junior High School three.
The victim’s mother, a tomato seller, told the Court that she never deprived her husband of sex.
She said she also provided the victim with all her needs.
Chief Inspector Agartha Asantewaa, prayed the Court to hand down a deterrent sentence to ward off like-minded persons.
Narrating the facts, the Prosecution, said the complainant (name withheld) was the mother of the victim, now 16 years.
It said the complainant had been married to Odai, now convict, for the past 17 years and they were blessed with four children, with the victim being their first child.
The Prosecution said when the victim was 14 years and the family was living at Odai’s mother’s house at Teshie Tebibiano in a single room, the complainant detected that the victim was pregnant.
The Prosecution said when the victim’s mother asked who was responsible, she mentioned her father (Odai).
It said when the victim’s mother confronted Odai, he admitted the offence and pleaded for forgiveness.
The Prosecution said before the victim’s mother could decide on her daughter’s predicament, she saw the victim bleeding.
It said the victim later told her mother that Odai had given her some tablets to swallow and some to insert into her vagina to abort the pregnancy.
The Prosecution said the victim’s mother reported Odai’s conduct to family members and a ritual was conducted to pacify her and the victim after the family had moved to Tafo in Teshie when the convict lost his mother.
It said three months later, the victim was pregnant again and when asked, she mentioned one Abraham.
The Prosecution said Abraham, however, denied being responsible saying the victim had confided in him and mentioned Odai, her father, as the one who had been having sex with her.
“When the accused heard the young man had denied responsibility, he took the victim to LEKMA Hospital at Teshie Nungua and aborted the pregnancy in July this year,” it said.
The Prosecution said Odai told the doctors the victim had been impregnated by an irresponsible young man and that the victim was a BECE candidate hence the need for the abortion.
It said in August this year, the second abortion was done after Odai had had sex with the victim in their sitting room whiles the victim’s mother was in the bedroom.
The Prosecution said the victim’s mother and the children relocated and the matter was reported to Child Right International, which also petitioned the Director-General of CID and the Domestic Violence and Victims Support Unit to investigate the matter and a medical form was issued to the victim’s mother to send the victim to the hospital.