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Welder testifies in manslaughter case

By Hassan G. Koroma

A welder, Michael Harding, on Wednesday testified at the Freetown High Court No. 2 presided over by Justice M.A. Paul in a manslaughter case involving one Alpheus Kallay.

According to the particulars of offence, the accused, Alpheus Kallay, on 9th May 2012, in Freetown, allegedly killed his first cousin, Gbongo Kargbo.

Prosecution witness Harding told the court he recognised the accused and recalled that the deceased had gone to his (witness) workshop on 9th May, 2012 and pleaded with him to undertake a welding job at his workshop; a request he said he accepted because he knew the deceased as a welder.

The witness said the deceased subsequently invited the accused to assist him with the job and that they were both working until 2p.m. when a bitter argument ensued between them, prompting the deceased to ask the accused to quit the job.

“The accused met me and informed me about the said development and I advised him to leave if that is the decision of the deceased,” Harding told the court.

The deceased, the witness said, hired another welder to help him with the work till 5p.m. when he left for home.

The witness revealed that he was woken up by a loud cry late in the night and when he got to the scene, he saw blood oozing from the deceased’s head. He said the deceased told him the accused had attacked and inflicted serious injury to his head.

The prosecution witness further testified that he pleaded with some concerned youths in the neighbourhood to accompany the deceased to the police station, before he returned to bed.

“Few hours later the youths knocked at my door and informed me that the wounded man could not make it and that he had passed away at the hospital,” Harding told the court.

He said he immediately left to confront the accused with news of the death of the deceased, and urged him to go with him to the police station. He said the accused willingly went with him to the police station, where he was detained overnight.

Harding further told the court that a detective went to his residence the following morning and invited him for questioning.

Meanwhile, the witness, while being cross-examined by the defence, revealed that the deceased requested that the accused be granted clemency because his act was not intentional.

The matter was adjourned to 24th January.