Josephine Panyin Mensah, who was accused of staging her own kidnapping and fabricating a pregnancy, was fined GH7,200 by the Takoradi District Court in the Western Region, presided over by His Worship Michael Ampadu, for publishing false information with the goal to spread fear and terror.
Although Josephine Panyin Mensah did not make the publication, her report to the police did result in the publishing, which “in no doubt generated terror and panic across the country,” according to presiding judge Michael Ampadu, who spent more than two hours to read out his decision.
He continued by saying that initially, the police had just been called to a reported case of a missing wife, but that when they had located Josephine Panyin Mensah, who had acknowledged to the false pregnancy in a cautionary statement to them, the case had evolved into an abduction.
“She told the police that she was kidnapped and when she gained consciousness she saw 12 other pregnant women where she was who had all been killed. So if you have a relative who is pregnant and maybe had travelled this piece of information when you hear it, will obviously make you panic,” He was tense.
Judge Michael Ampadu decided on a fine of 600 penalty units despite the fact that the count of posting false news with the goal to provoke fear and terror carries a three-year maximum sentence since Josephine Panyin Mensah is expecting a child.
The court ruled Josephine Panyin Mensah not guilty on the first count of defrauding a public official because, in the opinion of the presiding judge, the elements required to support the accusation were missing.
After being found guilty of a misdemeanor, Josephine Panyin Mensah faces 600 counts of jail, or three years.
Josephine, however, was found not guilty and released of the accusation that she had misled a public official.
Josephine Panyin Mensah was accused of publishing false information with the intent to spread fear and panic in violation of section 208 subsection 1 of the criminal offenses Act as well as two counts of misleading a public official in violation of section 251 (B) of the Criminal Office’s Act as amended by Act 1035, 2020.