- to pay Le2m or 6 months jail
February 5, 2015 By Patrick J. Kamara
Two FC Johansen coaches – John Keister and his assistant Daniel Conteh – were yesterday convicted of trespass and fined by Magistrate Santigie Bangura presiding at the Pademba Road Magistrates’ Court No.5 following their arraignment last year for an alleged assault, trespass and provocation on Salone Times newspaper editor, Thomas Dixon.
In his ruling, Magistrate Bangura said the prosecution had failed to secure conviction on the counts of assault, public insult and provocation, thus clearing both men on the aforementioned charges, but convicted them on a count each of trespass.
“The prosecution has failed to adduce sufficient evidence on counts one and two, but however I hold the opinion that sufficient evidence has been led in count three, and I therefore sentence both accused persons to six months imprisonment or pay a fine of L250,000 each and also compensate the complainant with the sum of Le1,500,000 in two weeks,” the magistrate ruled.
The convicted FC Johansen coaches were charged with three counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm contrary to Section 47 of the Offences Against the Persons Act 1861, trespass contrary to Section 15(1)(b) of the Public Order Act No. 46 of 1965, and provocation contrary to Section 2 of the Public Order Act of 1965.
Prior to their sentencing, defense counsel Alhaji M. Kamara told the court in his plea of mitigation that the convicts were first time offenders, hence should be cautioned and discharged.
He also pleaded with the magistrate to temper justice with mercy as a custodian sentence will be grave for the duo. He thus appealed for an alternative minimal fine, drawing the attention of the magistrate to the current Ebola outbreak which has had very serious economic impact on the country.
But the police prosecutor countered that the sentence must reflect the magnitude of the offence committed and that the convicts should pay cost to the complainant.
The prosecution had alleged that on Saturday, 18 October 2014, at No.7 King Williams Street off Kroo Town Road in Freetown, the duo physically assaulted the complainant.