Friday, October 23, 2009

Court discharges Lamptey Mills • Matter settled out of court

Friday, October 23, 2009 (Page 3 Lead)

THE Circuit Court in Accra today discharged the Proprietor of the Great Lamptey Mills Institute, Mr Enoch Nii Lamptey Mills, who was charged with compulsory marriage.
Mr Mills, alias Mr Tee, allegedly impregnated one of his former students and forced her to marry him at age 16 but he had denied any wrongdoing.
He was discharged alongside two other accused persons namely Georgina Sabah, the victim’s mother and Evelyn Engmann, the victim’s grandmother, who were charged with abetment.
The court arrived at that decision after the victim’s father/complainant in the case, Mr Odartey Lamptey, announced to the court that he had decided to withdraw his complaint against Mr Mills and the others following a resolution of the matter by parties in the case.
The presiding judge, Mrs Georgina Mensah-Datsa accordingly discharged the accused persons after she had held deliberations with the victim in her chambers in the presence of the prosecutor, the complainant and defence counsel.
According to the trial judge, the charge levelled against Mr Mills was a misdemeanor of which the law allowed out of court settlement.
She said she also took into account the fact that the complainant had withdrawn the case against the three as well as the interest of child.
The court emphasized that a criminal matter could not go on without a complainant and further pointed out that the prosecution had not objected to the withdrawal of the matter from the court.
She further stated that the victim had also told her (judge) in the presence of the prosecutor and defence lawyer that she consented to amicable resolution of the matter.
The court concluded that considering the above reasons it was the court’s duty to discharge the accused persons.
Mr Mills, who was clad in an all-white apparel as usual walked out of the courtroom a free man in the company of his sympathisers.
On Monday, Mr Mills and the two others were granted self recognisance bail by the court.
Counsel for Mr Mills, Mr Bannerman Williams, told the court that the parties in the matter had sought an out of court settlement. the offence was a misdemeanor and to add to that the family had taken into account the fact that there was a child between Mr Mills and the victim.
Counsel said the family agreed that the welfare of the child will be better protected and promoted if the matter was resolved out of court.
It accordingly adjourned the matter to today, October 22, 2009 to enable the complainant to respond appropriately.
According to the prosecution, Mr Mills’ relationship with the girl started when he was paying the victim’s school fees after she had informed him that her parents were unable to pay her fees.
He was alleged to have promised to compensate the victim with a building and further promised to take the then yet-to-be-born child to South Africa to for education while the victim would remain in Ghana to continue her education to the university level.
However, Mills had allegedly failed to keep to his promise of building a house for her, providing for the upkeep of the mother and the child, as well as restoring the girl to school a year after the child was born.
Great Lamptey Mills Institute, formerly Lamptey Mills Institute, was established on February 4, 1963 by the late Rev Abraham Samuel Lamptey-Mills after whom the school was named.
The Junior High School Department was later established on September 31, 1994 by the current director of the school, Mr Enoch Lamptey-Mills.
The Senior Secondary Department was also founded in 2005 by the same director.
He was among a number of persons who received national awards last year.

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