April 23, 2015 By Hawa Amara
Magistrate Komba Kamanda yesterday slammed a fine of Le1 million or an alternate six months in prison on a grandmother, Mariama Magdalene Sam, who was found guilty of feeding her two-year-old step granddaughter with faeces.
She had been arraigned at the Freetown Magistrates’ Courts No.1 presided over by Magistrate Komba Kamanda on one count of domestic violence, and subsequently found guilty.
According to police prosecutor Sergeant 5984 Fofanah I.G., the accused on Tuesday, 14 January, 2014 physically abused and put faeces into the mouth of the victim at No.13 Cook Street in Freetown.
In his ruling, Magistrate Kamanda said the prosecution called four witnesses and adduced graphic evidence, backed with a medical report to substantiate that the child had been maltreated. He also stated that there was ample evidence that when a social worker went to the house of the convict the victim was in a bad condition.
“The evidence before the court is overwhelming to show the court that the child suffered physical abuse. In the circumstance, the accused is guilty of the offence charged against her and therefore sentenced to six months in prison or pay a fine of Le1 million,” ordered Magistrate Kamanda, adding that the child should be placed in the custody and care of the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affair until a responsible relative or foster parent elects to take her.
Meanwhile, Assistant Director of the Catholic charity Don Bosco Fambul, Samuel Bojohn, welcomed the judgment and sentencing. He has been taking care of the child since she was taken in their custody after the cruel act was perpetrated on her.
Bojohn said the case has opened Don Bosco’s attention to cruel treatment against children in the country, particularly girls and young women who continue to suffer daily abuse, exploitation and injustice.
Don Bosco staff, Marion Amara, told this press that they investigated the incident and came out with a conclusion that the convict put faeces in the mouth of the victim. She said the victim had been in their custody and care throughout the duration of the matter.
She expressed hope that the judgment and sentencing would serve as a deterrent to others who abuse and maltreat children.