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Jurors returned manslaughter verdict for murder

November 22, 2021

By Isata Turay (Intern)

 Jurors in the murder trial of a 43-year old wheelbarrow pusher man, last Thursday November 18, returned a verdict of manslaughter instead of murder.

After their retirement, the 11 men jury panel, returned to court and pronounced that they have come to a conclusion of the trial and they were unanimous about the verdict.

The foreman of the jury told the court that they found the 43 years old Augustine Sannoh guilty of manslaughter instead of murder. 

The trial judge, Justice John Bosco Alliue, sentenced the manslaughter convict to 10 years in prison at the Freetown Male Correctional Centre. 

He further ordered that, the 10 years sentencing includes time already spent in custody during the trial.

The convict, who was standing in the accused box with his hands behind his back and tears rolling from his eyes, was taken away by prison officers to complete his jail term at the Freetown Male Correctional Centre. 

The convict was initially standing trial in the Freetown High Court on a one count charge of murder contrary to law. 

State Prosecutor, Alberta Kargbo, alleged that the convict on 3rd of January 2021, in Tombo, Western Rural District, murdered one Foday Bangura (deceased).

According to the judge, the convict explained to the court how he killed the deceased and told the court that he pushed wheelbarrow for a living.

He said he knew the deceased and he was a laborer responsible for the offloading of fish at Pepper Warf in Tombo.

The judge said the convict explained to the court that on the day of the incident,he went to the Wharf with his wheelbarrow to collect and transport some fishes offloaded by the deceased,  but the deceased did not allow him.

He further stated that, he had argument with the deceased, which later resulted into a fight between the both of them, and that he was beaten by the deceased. 

He said the deceased was stronger than him and during that fight the deceased Foday Bangura hit him so hard with a stone on the head and as a result he sustained serious injuries.

He said he reported the issue to the Wharf Chairman by the name  Kelly, but the said chairman did nothing about it, noting that the people at the Wharf were laughing at him.

He said he later became very angry that he stabbed the deceased twice on his chest with a scissors.

The convict pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy, with the promise to abandon crime, stating that he had learnt his lessons during the time spent in custody.

In her plea mitigation for and on behalf of the convict, Legal Aid Board Lawyer, Cecilia Tucker, pleaded with the judge to temper justice with mercy. 

She told the judge that the convict was a first time offender and that he is family man with five children and a wife, and just a casual worker who was finding his living for his family on that faithful day of the incident. 

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