By Mohamed Bagura and Aiah Kaminjah (Interns)
In a landmark ruling, Peter Denis Massai, a convicted individual, has been handed a ten-year prison sentence by the court.
Additionally, he has been ordered to pay a substantial sum of seventy-six million Old Leones as part of his punishment. Out of that amount, ten million will be paid to the state, while the remaining sixty-six million is to be disbursed to the complainant as compensation.
The charges levelled against Massai stem from his alleged breach of trust under the Larceny Act. Specifically, he was indicted on one count charge in violation of section 13(a) of the Larceny Act 1916. It was alleged that between the 1st of April 2021 and the 25th of October 2021, in Freetown,Massai unlawfully entered the dwelling house of Josephine Jenneh Saidu. It was within this residence that he purportedly committed the crime, stealing a substantial amount of money comprising three thousand four hundred United States dollars, two hundred and fifty sterling, and one thousand four hundred and fifty United States dollars.
During the court proceedings, evidence was presented indicating that the convicted individual had utilized a portion of the stolen funds to finance various personal activities, including his wedding arrangements. Moreover, he had purchased five motorbikes, a fact that ultimately led to his arrest on the day of his wedding. Despite the charges brought against him, Massai vehemently denied the allegations, claiming that he owned only one motorbike. He further contended that he had sold this single motorbike to raise money for living expenses when the matter was reported to the police.
To strengthen their case, the prosecution called upon multiple witnesses who provided testimonies corroborating the allegations against Massai. The defense counsel, Ishmael Bangura, sought mercy for his client during their arraignment and implored the judge to consider tempering justice with leniency.
The sentencing of Peter Denis Massai reflects the court’s commitment to upholding the rule of law and offering redress to victims of criminal acts. The significant term of imprisonment, coupled with substantial monetary compensation, aims to deter individuals from engaging in similar crimes while providing a sense of justice and restitution to the affected party.