October 3, 2019
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Appeals Court Judge, Justice John Bosco Allieu, who currently presides over a High Court matter, has stated that majority of the bills passed in Parliament since 2007 including the Sexual Offences Act, are faulty.
He was speaking while presiding over a matter involving a fourteen –year-old juvenile, who was indicted in the High Court for sexual penetration.
Section 19 of the Act stated that ‘A person who engages in an act of sexual penetration with a child commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding fifteen years.”
Section 21 of the same Act also stated that ‘A person who engages in a sexual activity with the intention of a child who is presently being aware of the sexual activity, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment not exceeding ten years.
According to the judge, the Act did not make any provision for children who commit sexual penetration crime.
He said the judiciary only interprets the laws while parliament makes laws, noting that people always blame the judges on the social media for doing what the law says, as if the judiciary makes the law.
Making a bail application on behalf of the juvenile, Lawyer Roland Nylander told the Bench that the accused was indeed standing trial for a very serious offence, which is bailable and pleaded with the Judge to grant him one.
However, the Judge said he was not going to grant bail to the offender because he had made a confessional statement to the police, adding that he also wanted to listen to the testimony of the victim before he could decide to put him on bail or not.