Effort Dankwa has been sentenced to 39 years imprisonment by the Accra High Court for the crime of attempted murder.
Effort Dankwa shot his pregnant wife, Benita Dankwa, in August 2015 in the couple’s apartment in Tema Community 11.
Benita, who was seven months pregnant, was delivered of a baby boy through caesarean section later in the hospital on the day of the shooting.
She has remained paralysed from her chest downwards.
Her husband, who was the only suspect in the shooting denied any wrongdoing and pleaded not guilty when charged with attempted murder.
The case, which has travelled over seven years, came to an end last Friday, March 10, 2023, when a seven-member jury found Effort Dankwa guilty of attempted murder.
Justice Mary M. E. Yanzuh, who sentenced him agreed with the submission by the prosecution that the crime was grave, and the punishment should be severe enough to deter men who nurse such evil against their spouses.
The lawyer for the accused, Winston Hayford, had earlier pleaded for mitigation, saying the accused was a first-time offender and deserved a second chance.
Citing Biblical characters such as Moses, David and Paul, Mr. Hayford said Effort Dankwa was a teacher whose service was beneficial to society. He, therefore, prayed the court to be lenient with him.
The prosecution, on the other hand, prayed the court to hand him a sentence that was severe enough to deter others. A state attorney told the court that the harm Effort Dankwa had caused his wife was irreversible and that her parents were now taking care of her instead of the other way round.
Justice Mary Yanzuh said the offence was a first-degree felony and that punishment could range from a life imprisonment to a lesser sentence. She said though the court had the discretion to sentence, that discretion must be “fair and judicial”.
She said, in arriving at the sentence, she took into account a number of factors such as the accused being a first time offender.
She said she also considered the fact that the accused said he did not own a pistol, therefore the crime was premeditated.
She added shooting his seven-month-pregnant wife meant that Effort Dankwa had no regard for the “innocent unborn child”. She also said she took into account the degree of the harm caused the victim, who had lost her ability to pass urine and empty her bowels.