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Convict gets 57 years imprisonment for robbery

By Ibarhim Kabba Turay

Justice Komba Kamanda (JA) has sentenced 44-year-old motor mechanic, Mustapha Kabba to 57 years imprisonment after finding him guilty of robbery with aggravation.

 The judge handed down the sentence after an eleven-member jury unanimously returned a guilty verdict in respect of a-four-count indictment including robbery with aggravation, attempting to strangle and causing grievous bodily harm.

It was alleged that the convict on the 1st September, 2020, in the Western Area of Freetown, being armed with a black powerline semi-automatic gun, robbed Mrs. Fadlu-Deen off one dark grey 2018 Toyota Rav-4 Jeep valued $24,500,000 equivalent to Le245, 000,000,000, one Samsung J-20 mobile phone valued $150 equivalent to Le1, 500,000, caused her grievous bodily harm and attempted to strangle her.        

The convict denied the allegations upon his arraignment before the court.

In his opening address to the jurors at the commencement of the trial, prosecuting lawyer Yada Williams said the accused was before the court on four counts  indictment.

He said that there was enough evidence to prove that on the 1st of September 2020 at about 8:15 am, the accused went to the premises of Mrs. Fadlu-Deen at Lumley and upon arrival at the house, encountered unarmed security guards but pretended as if he was on the phone with Mrs. Fadlu-Deen to trick the guards to have access to the premises. 

“He went upstairs, tricked his way in and started the agony, pain and sufferings of this over 80-year old woman. She was physically manhandled by the accused person and the evidence will reveal all of this. She was dragged into one of the toilets inside the house and there she was girded with a lot of toiled tissues and towels stuffed into her mouth so that she could not raise an alarm for the guards outside or neighbours,’’ Lawyer Williams said.

He continued that for the incident itself to have taken place in broad daylight showed the “effrontery and audacity” of the convict, adding that the convict tied up the old woman and demanded the keys to the vehicle with registration number AQG 834 and was directed to where the keys were kept out of fear.

He said that: “the  convict locked Mrs. Fadlu-Deen in the toilet, took her phone and disappeared with the vehicle which landed in Sierra Leone almost brand new, costing $24,500,000 and with the deception that he was in some kind of relation with the woman, the guards opened the gate and the convict drove off. This woman was able to scream later on after struggling for few minutes and the neighbours and servants came to her rescue.’’

The prosecuting lawyer said a report of the incident was made at the Lumley Police Station with Interpol alerted as well as security personnel at the Sierra Leone-Guinea border.

He added that later on the same day, the convict showed up at the Sierra Leone Guinea border with the vehicle with a diplomatic license plate recorded as 19 CD 12 and was intercepted by the Guinean authorities with the gun, he had used to terrify the woman.

He stressed that the convict made a number of confessional statements to the police as well as admitted to have sold the woman’s phone.

The prosecution led in evidence a number of witnesses in support of his case.

At the close of the prosecution’s case, the convict claimed that he was being tortured at the CID which resulted in him making a confessional statement.

After his claim of torture in the hands of the police, Justice Kamanda conducted a voir dire (trial within trial) in order to ascertain whether his claims were true, but they turned out to be false.

In his plea in mitigation, defence lawyer, Harold Momoh, implored the judge to temper justice with mercy.

Justice Kamanda said his judgment was informed by the entirety of the evidence and the audacity with which the convict committed the offence, describing it as “violent and diplomatic.”

He added that the way in which the convict did the act showed that he is a “professional criminal.”

“The purpose of law enforcers is to ensure that people live and enjoy their property in peace and safety,” he stated.

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