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Legal Aid frowns at detention of juvenile offenders

October 20, 2016

Director of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles has reacted furiously to the remand of three juvenile offenders at the Pademba Road Correctional Centre for nearly two months.

 She raised the alarm after the Legal Aid Board secured their release on bail on Tuesday, 18 October 2016.

“I have no idea why the boys were not remanded at the Dems Juvenile Remand Home at Kingtom in Freetown. Assuming the Home is full, the best interest of the children should have been given primacy by granting them bail rather than remanding them at the Pademba Road Correctional Center.”

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles noted that the lack or the inadequacy of detention facilities for children was a serious challenge facing the justice sector.

She also lamented the psychological pains the juvenile offenders were being subjected to, having to travel long distances to attend court sittings.

 “Our paralegals are grappling with these problems all over the country, whether it is in Port Loko in the North or Kono in the East. This an issue I will take up with  the Chief Justice, the Office of the Attorney General and Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs and the Inspector General of police,” she promised.

The three boysm, age between fourteen to seventeen years were arrested on diverse dates between the 6 to the 9 August, 2016 and detained at the Mountain Police Station for allegedly stealing a mobile phone and an amplifier from a nearby ghetto.

They spent between 5 to 9 days in police cell while the matter was being investigated and were charged with robbery with aggravation.

They started appearing at the Magistrates’ Court No. 5, presided over by Magistrate Bangura, on 14th August, 2016. The boys are being represented in court by Hadiru Dabor of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board.

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