IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF JUDICATURE
IN THE COURT OF APPEAL
ACCRA - A.D 2017
ISAAC YAW ATTRAM AND 4 OTHERS - (Appellant)
THE REPUBLIC - (Respondent)
DATE: 23RD NOVEMBER, 2017
CRIMINAL APPEAL NO: H2/07/2017
JUDGES: KORBIEH J.A (PRESIDING), LOVELACE-JOHNSON J,.ACECILIA SOWAH J.A
OLIVER ATSU ABADA FOR APPELLANT
RICHARD GYAMBIBY (SSA) FOR RESPONDENT
The appellant and two others were charged with Conspiracy to rob and Robbery contrary to sections 23(1) and 149 of the Criminal Offence Act 1960, Act 29. They were convicted by the trial High Court, Accra on 6th July, 2009 and sentenced to 30 years imprisonment with hard labour on each count to run concurrently.
The appellant who was the 1st accused at the trial filed a petition of appeal in mitigation of sentence on 18th November, 2014 pursuant to leave granted on 11th November, 2014.
The grounds of appeal are:
That the thirty years sentence imposed on the appellant is harsh in the circumstances.
That the appellant having regretted his action is praying the Honourable Court to reduce the sentence.
In the written submissions filed by counsel on behalf of the appellant, counsel invited this court to consider the role played by the appellant in the entire robbery, and the factors that ought to have been considered in determining the length of sentence. Counsel refers to the case of Kwashie Vs. The Republic  GLR 408 and Kamil Vs. The Republic  1 SCGLR 300 as well as the new Sentencing Guidelines in support of his arguments and submits that in the circumstances, the sentence of 30 years was harsh.
In respect of the second ground of appeal, counsel concedes and states as follows:
“The exercise of the power of sentencing lay entirely within the discretion of the trial court, and provided the sentence fell within the maximum permitted by the statute creating the offence and the trial Judge dully considered those matters that should go in mitigation of sentence, an appellate court should not disturb the sentence only because it would have felt disposed to impose a lighter sentence if it had tried the case at first instance… (Brenda Vs. The Republic  1 GLR 52 per Osei-Hwere, J.)
Appellant’s counsel nevertheless argues that as the appellant has regretted his action and has already served a third of his sentence, the sentence ought to be reduced so that he can be re-admitted back into normal society. He also contends that in imposing the sentence, the youth of the appellant and the fact that he was a first offender was overlooked.
The respondent is opposed to the appeal, contending that the punishment must fit the crime and so considering the conduct of the appellant in the crime, he deserved the sentence imposed on him. Counsel for the Republic also relied on Kwashie Vs. The Republic (supra) and Kamil Vs. The Republic (supra) as well as Adu Boahene Vs. The Republic  1 GLR 70 and Kwaku Frimpong @ Iboman Vs. The Republic  SCGLR 297.
Now, an appeal against sentence on the ground that the sentence is harsh is in reality a criticism that the sentencing Judge failed to take into consideration the principles and factors to consider when imposing sentence. Both the counsel for the appellant and for the respondent rightly referred to the principles outlined in Frimpong @ Vs. The Republic (supra) which were affirmed in Frimpong @ Iboman Vs. The Republic (supra). These include the intrinsic seriousness of the offence and the revulsion felt by law abiding citizens for that particular crime, premeditation with which the plan was executed, prevalence of the crime and mitigating or aggravating circumstances such as extreme youth, good character and the violent manner in which the offence was committed.
Counsel for the appellant himself concedes and states as follows in his submissions: “taking the above factors into consideration and the role played by the appellant as far as the robbery of the victims are concerned, we can without any equivocation say that the appellant who at the time of the robbery was 29 years of age deserves the sentence imposed on him within the parameters of the maximum sentence for robbery which ranges from 10 years to life imprisonment. Indeed, the appellant from the statement he gave to the police was a very active participant in the entire enterprise. The appellant’s role in the robbery of the victims clearly showed him a master mind of the entire ordeal. In that regard, 30 years ought to be considered a fair sentence imposed within the confines of the ceiling for the offence of robbery…”
Having acknowledged these factors, it is difficult to appreciate what other argument the appellant can offer in mitigation. It is an admission that the sentencing Judge had taken into cognizance of the essential factors and had been fair.
The appellant’s counsel correctly states the law when he cites Banda Vs. Republic (supra) which held that: “The exercise of the power of sentencing lay entirely within the discretion of the trial court, and provided the sentence fell within the maximum permitted by the statute creating the offence and the trial Judge duly considered those matters that should go in mitigation of sentence, an appellate court should not disturb the sentence only because it would have felt disposed to impose a lighter sentence if it had tried the case at first instance.”
The first ground of appeal has no merit and is dismissed.
The second ground of appeal states that the appellant having regretted his action is praying the Honourable Court to reduce his sentence. He was not remorseful during the trial. Although he had admitted his guilt upon arrest, he denied it under cross-examination and refused to affirm his guilt. This ground therefore relates to the appellants’ state of mind whilst he has been in prison but there is no founded argument offered in respect of his remorse. He offers no instances to attest to his reformation but rather blames the prison service. One wonders what productive years an unrepentant armed robber has to offer.
It is quite disturbing that counsel for the appellant who seems convinced that the appeal is not worthwhile by stating that there is no empirical evidence which can be gathered in attestation of the appellants’ reformation yet appeals on his behalf.
Clearly, the appellant and his co-accused not only interfered with fundamental rights and freedoms of their victims by invading their home and stealing properties but also threatened their very lives and dignity by inflicting wounds and raping. It is our considered view that the sentence imposed on the appellant took into account all the essential mitigating and aggravating circumstances of the case and was fair.
We find the appeal to be totally without merit and dismiss same.