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Nurse jailed for 5 years for baby's death in 2021 Agbogba School CCTV incident

Clara Yanyi-Ampah, a 56-year-old nurse who worked as a caregiver at Happy Bloomers School in Agbogba, has been sentenced to five years in prison for the death of an 11-month-old baby.

Nurse sentenced to 5 years for baby's death in 2021 Agbogba School CCTV incident

Yanyi-Ampah was found guilty of manslaughter after entering a plea bargain with the Attorney-General's office. According to the agreement, the charge of manslaughter was upheld, and both parties recommended a five-year sentence of hard labor to the Court.

Before sentencing, the Court, guided by Section 162 (h) of the Plea-Bargaining Act 1079, sought clarification from Yanyi-Ampah. Senior State Attorney Mercy Arthur and defense attorney Richard Asare Baffour both confirmed their agreement with the plea deal.

Initially pleading not guilty, Yanyi-Ampah changed her plea following the agreement. Justice Marie-Louise Simmons, after ensuring clarity on the plea deal.

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In sentencing, “the Court has considered the eight months the accused spent in custody upon her arrest in May 2021 till she was granted bail.

“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 court said the accused (now convict) is also not known to the law and seems to have shown remorse.

The Court noted that Yanyi-Ampah had shown remorse and had no prior convictions. However, Justice Simmons emphasized the reckless neglect that led to the baby's death as a significant factor in the sentencing.

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The tragic incident involved Randy and Patricia Ackah-Mensah, parents of 11-month-old Allegra Camille Yaba Ackah-Mensah, who was enrolled at Happy Bloomers School on April 6, 2021. Yanyi-Ampah was responsible for Allegra and two other children.

On May 18, 2021, Allegra, who had turned 11 months old that day, was brought to school in good health. Around 2:50 pm, teacher Gladys Osei found Allegra unresponsive while Yanyi-Ampah was changing her clothes. Despite efforts to revive her at North Legon Hospital, Allegra was pronounced dead.

CCTV footage revealed that Yanyi-Ampah had forcefully fed Allegra by pouring food down her throat with a cup, contrary to the school's policy of using spoons for toddlers. The post-mortem report indicated that Allegra's death was due to asphyxiation caused by aspirated food following the forced feeding.

Yanyi-Ampah was charged with manslaughter under section 50 of the Criminal Offences Act, 1960, Act 29, and was tried in the High Court, Criminal Division, Accra.

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