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Caregiver sentenced to five years for manslaughter of infant at Agbogba

The High Court in Accra has sentenced Clara Yanyi-Ampah, a trained nurse and caregiver, to five years in prison for the manslaughter of an 11-month-old infant in May 2021.


Madam Yanyi-Ampah, initially charged with murder, faced the lesser charge of manslaughter following the Attorney General's advice.


This charge stemmed from an incident at a school in Agbogba, near Accra, where she force-fed the infant, leading to fatal asphyxiation.


The case began in the Adentan District Court before being transferred to the High Court. During the trial, Yanyi-Ampah changed her plea to guilty after a plea-bargain agreement with the Attorney General's Office, which recommended a five-year sentence.


Senior State Attorney Mercy Arthur led the prosecution, which revealed that the infant, in good health upon arrival at the school on May 8, 2021, became unresponsive while being fed by Yanyi-Ampah.


CCTV footage showed Yanyi-Ampah forcefully feeding the baby and improperly handling her, contrary to school guidelines.


A subsequent postmortem confirmed the baby’s death was due to asphyxiation caused by the forced feeding.


Justice Marie-Louise Simmons, who presided over the case, took into account Yanyi-Ampah's time in detention since her arrest in May 2021, her lack of a prior criminal record, and her expression of remorse.


However, the judge condemned her reckless disregard for human life.


The court's decision marks a significant moment of justice for the grieving parents and highlights the critical importance of proper caregiving practices.


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