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JUDICIARY UPDATE

Magistrate Harding scolds weeping accused

January 30, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Presiding magistrate at the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.6, Manuella Harding, on Tuesday scolded an accused person who let the tears drop freely while in court.

Abass Fofanah, who faces two counts charge of larceny to dwelling house contrary to Section 13 of the Larceny Act of 1916, was seen weeping bitterly in the dock but his river of tears got no empathy from the stern magistrate who recounted her experience with certain accused persons she said would shed tears just so as to feign innocence.

“Let me warn you that if you cry in my court I will take it that you are guilty of the offence that you are charged with, and I will send you to prison because most criminals when they are taken to court cry with the pretence that they did not do the act, forgetting that the court does not look for tears but evidence,” Magistrate Harding told the weeping accused.

Despite her warning, the magistrate granted the accused bail to the tune of Le3 million with two sureties – one of them being a resident owner of property in the Western Area.

The prosecution alleges that on 24 January 2015, the accused entered the dwelling house of one Mabinty Yillah at Susan’s Bay in Freetown and stole the sum of Le250,000 and two pairs of sandals valued Le50,000 each.

The accused is also alleged to have robbed one Barba Kargbo, stealing from him four pairs of jeans trousers valued Le280,000, and two T-shirts valued Le80,000.

The matter comes up again in the same court today (30 January).

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