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Caregiver Who Force-fed Baby to Death at Agbogba Creche Jailed Five Years 

CCTV footage had shown 56-year-old Clara Yanzu-Ampah forcing a cup of porridge down the baby's throat

A 56-year-old caregiver who force-fed an 11-month-old baby to death at a Children’s school in Agbogba has been sentenced to five years to prison.

Clara Yanzu-Ampah, a professional nurse, worked at the Happy Bloomers Creche inside North Legon before her arrest in May 2021 for the death of baby Allegra Yaba Ackah Mensah.

CCTV footage submitted to the police by the school’s management showed that she forced a cup of porridge into the victim’s mouth while holding the baby’s hand tightly behind her.  Baby Allegra was pronounced dead at the North Legon Hospital when managers of the creche rushed her there.

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“A CCTV footage obtained from the school after Allegra’s death showed that the accused person pulled the hands of Allegra to her back and poured food down her throat with a cup. According to the school’s policy on feeding, toddlers Allegra’s age are fed with spoons. The school indicated that the cup the accused used in feeding baby Allegra belonged to the accused,” Prosecutors said in the course of the trial.

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Prosecutors also submitted a post-mortem report which confirmed the incident from the video footage. “Allegra’s trachea and bronchi and left lungs were filled with food particles. The pathologist concluded that the cause of death was Asphyxiation due to aspiration of food following forced feeding,” they said in court.

On Tuesday, May 21, an Accra High Court was told that the accused had entered into a plea deal with the Attorney-General’s Office and therefore pleaded guilty to charges of manslaughter.

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In sentencing her, Justice Marie-Louise Simmons said the court had considered the eight months the accused spent in custody from the time of her arrest until she was granted bail later on.

“I have also considered the benefit of the plea deal which has shortened the trial, and reduced the burden on both the Prosecution and the Court,” the judge said, however adding that the “reckless act of neglect of the baby and nonchalant attitude after feeding her until another teacher found the baby unresponsive was indeed a reckless disregard for human life, hence the sentence meted out.”

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