Freetown, 21 September 2023. The Legal Aid Board (LAB) represented 37 accused persons arraigned before Justice Alusine Sesay, JSC at the just concluded September Criminal Sessions of the High Court on 19 September 2023 at the Freetown High Court No. 1 on Siaka Stevens Street.
The accused persons were among 50 others whose matters were called by the court; 10 were absent, two were represented by private Counsels and one was reported to have died.
The accused persons were indicted on multiple charges ranging from conspiracy to defraud to murder, larceny in a dwelling house, wounding with intent, robbery, robbery with aggravation, assault with intent to rob, shop breaking and larceny, larceny from a person, larceny in a dwelling house and fraudulent conversion.
Among the 37 accused persons represented by the Board, 15 pleaded guilty to the charges and were sentenced to various prison terms.
The indigent accused persons were represented by Legal Aid Counsels: Cecilia Tucker; Randy Bangura; Ibrahim Samba; Cyril Taylor-Younge, Morrison Karimu; Harold Momoh; and Abraham Kargbo.
In a related development, the Board represented three juvenile offenders who were discharged by Magistrate Wilbril John of the Freetown Magistrate Court No. 7. The three juveniles; Rose Mary John, Sheku Bangura and Josephus Koroma (not their real names) were released by the court for want of prosecution.
Prior to their release, the three were standing trial on a one-count charge each of office breaking and larceny, assault and fraudulent conversion respectively.
Rose was arrested in May 2023 while Sheku was arrested in April 2023 and Josephus in August 2023. The trio have been reunited with their families. The three were represented by Legal Aid Counsel, Fatmata J. Kangbai
The Executive Director of the Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles called on the children to return home and resume schooling without any delay. ‘Schools have reopened, you have no time to waste to return to school,’ she said, adding ‘Any delay will see you miss the academic year and that will affect your future development.’