February 15, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The High Court of Sierra Leone, presided over by Justice Bintu Alhadi, on Tuesday, February 13th, 2018, discharged a 17 year- old male juvenile, who conspired with three adults to commit a crime to wit shop breaking.
The juvenile was discharged on the condition that he would go back to school and treat education with all seriousness.
“In view of the circumstances as stated above, the accused person (Juvenile) is discharged on condition that he keeps the peace and go back to school and continue his education with all the seriousness that it deserves and stay away from bad company,” Justice Alhadi ruled.
According to Justice Alhadi, the discharged Juvenile, together with one Abdul Rahman Mansaray, Hassan Kamara and Abdulai Bangura, on diverse dates between 29th July, 2016, and the 1st of August, 2016,in Freetown, conspired with unknown individuals to commit a felony to wit shop breaking and larceny.
She further that all the accused persons on diverers dates between 29th July 2016 and the 1st of August 2016,in Freetown, broke into and entered the shop of one Sama Kamara, with intent to steal and stole therein properties worth one million two hundred thousand Leones.
She said on 6th of February, 2018, the charges were read to all the accused persons, but that only the Juvenile pleaded guilty, while the adults accused pleaded not guilty.
She said on the same day, the defence counsel, C. Tucker of the Legal Aid Board, in her mitigation on behalf of the Juvenile, espoused that the Juvenile did not waste the court’s time by pleading guilty as charged.
She said the defence counsel told the court that the Juvenile has shown remorse for his wrong doing and that he was ready to amend his ways, while she maintained that the offender was a first time offender.
She further that the defence counsel argued that the Juvenile has learnt his lesson after he had spent nearly two years on remand, and that his experience has reformed his character and asked that the court temper justice with mercy.
“I have heard counsel for the defence’s plea mitigation and I accept it. However, the accused person needs to know that the offences he was charged with are serious,” she said.
“Had it not been because of his age and the fact that he has already spent nearly two years at the Remand Centre, I would have imposed a custodian sentence. However, having regard for his welfare as a child and in a bid to remove him from undesirable, and to ensure that his education and training are provided for by his parent, I would have given him a custodian sentence,” she said.