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Commissioner Of Police V. Marteifio And Six Others (1943) LJR-WACA

Commissioner Of Police V. Marteifio And Six Others (1943)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Criminal Law—Illegal Sentence—amendment’ of that sentence at same sitting—” Record “, meaning of.


The trial Magistrate sentenced each of the appellants to nine months imprisonment with hard labour for a first offence under section 159 (1) of Cap. 9. A first offence under this section is punishable with fine only and not with imprisonment.

Immediately upon pronouncement of this sentence counsel for the appellants drew the Magistrate’s attention to the illegality of the sentences. The Magistrate then retired from the Bench to (*milder the position, and, returning later in the day, in the presence of the appellants amended the sentences and substituted therefor sentences of fines of £20 or in default distress and failing that three months imprisonment with hard labour.

On appeal the Judge held that the first sentences were ultra, mires, and also held that the Magistrate had no power to review his sentences Acting however upon the powers conferred upon him by section 319 (1) (a) (ii) of the Criminal Procedure Code the Judge imposed the same sentences as those made on review by the Magistrate.


That in the circumstances the sentences were not ones that hod been entered on the record as final, and the Magistrate had jurisdiction to review them. The word ” record ” in English. Criminal Procedure has a significance entirely different from the record of the evidence kept by a Magistrate in the Gold Coast; it means the solemn form of judgment or conviction in the shape of a formal document drawn up after the conclusion’ of the trial.

See also  Mensah Nyaku & Ors V. Otoo Pabi (1936) LJR-WACA

For these reasons we upheld the altered sentence imposed upon the appellants by the trial Magistrate.

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