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Le185.5m robbery case…

Complainant narrates ordeal

By Hawa Amara

Complainant and first prosecution witness, Abu Bakarr Barrie, last Friday testified at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.2 in a robbery matter involving one Joseph Cyril Blell, who is alleged to have robbed him of the sum of Le.185.5m.

Barrie told the court that on 5th May, 2014, the accused met him at his business place at No.21 Rawdon Street and purported to have US$5,000 to change and another US$20,000 at home, and ask him to come with him home to change the money.

Barrie said he borrowed Le.90 million from business partners and together with his co-complainant and sibling, Alpha Barrie, drove in a taxi with the accused, but at Collegiate School junction the driver changed his mind and asked them to take another taxi, which took them to a house in Goderich, which the accused said was his. He said the accused introduced him to a man in the compound whom he said was his uncle.

“I noticed that the house was without window or door and the compound was completely silent. I wanted to play a trick by returning and I saw the man the accused introduced as his uncle holding a gun. We went at the back of the house where a huge man grabbed me on my neck and threatened to kill me,” he narrated. “The accused was carrying a bag containing a rope which they used to tie me and my brother and then stabbed my brother who went unconscious. The huge man also ordered to kill me and my brother silently because we have seen them.”

He further revealed that the accused then hit him with a stick, resulting to a deep cut on his head, and that went to ground and pretended to be unconscious.

“I later heard people shouting thief from one of the neighbours, who chased the accused,” he said, adding that the latter was subsequently apprehended by police officers and taken to the Anti-Robbery Unit.

The accused was arraigned on six counts of conspiracy to commit a felony to wit robbery, contrary to law; wounding with intent, assault, robbery with aggravation, contrary to section 23(1) of the Larceny Act, 1916, as repealed and replaced by section 2 of the Larceny Act of 1971.