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Caregiver, 56, who force-fed baby to death jailed 5 years for manslaughter


By Beatrice Oppon

A 56-year-old professional nurse and former Caregiver at Happy Bloomers School at Agbogba in Accra Clara Yanzu-Ampah has been jailed for five years for the death of an eleven-month-old baby in May 2021.

The convict entered into a plea bargaining agreement with the Office of the Attorney-General and pleaded guilty to manslaughter. She had earlier pleaded not guilty but changed her plea following the agreement.

Madam Yanzu-Ampah was arrested on May 18, 2021, after causing the death of an eleven-month-old baby girl.

Before the sentencing, Justice Marie-Louise Simmons said she considered the eight months the convict had spent in custody before she was granted bail. She also considered the benefit of the plea deal, which shortened the trial and reduced the burden on both the Prosecution and the Court. 

The Court held that the convict was remorseful. 

Justice Simmons further stated that the convict’s nonchalant attitude after feeding the baby until another teacher found her unresponsive is indeed a reckless disregard for human life. The convict was responsible for the deceased baby and two other babies at the school. 

The deceased was reportedly enrolled at the school on April 6, 2021. On May 18, 2021, the baby reportedly went to school healthy. At about 2:50 p.m., another teacher at the school passed through the changing room and tried playing with the baby whilst the convict was changing her clothes, but found her unresponsive.

The teacher asked the convict, who was then attending to the baby, if she was asleep, and she responded in the negative. The teacher quickly informed the administrator of the school, who rushed the baby to the North Legon Hospital. 

Medical reports indicated that the baby was unresponsive with no heartbeat or pulse, and all efforts to resuscitate her proved futile, so she was pronounced clinically dead. 

CCTV footage later obtained from the school showed that the convict pulled the hands of the baby to her back and poured food down her throat with a cup. 

Post-mortem examination revealed that the deceased baby’s trachea, bronchi and left lungs were filled with food particles, and the cause of death as Asphyxiation due to the aspiration of food following forced feeding.

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