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Man jailed 16 months for grievous bodily harm

September 29, 2016 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma

Justice Miatta Samba, presiding at the Freetown High Court, yesterday sentenced one Alhassan Sesay to 16 months at the Male Correctional Centre in Freetown after he was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm.

The convict was standing trial on a count’s charge of causing grievous bodily harm, contrary to Section 18 of the Offences Against the Persons Act of 1816.

State Prosecutor Ahmed J.M. Bockarrie had alleged that the accused on 24th December, 2015, in Freetown, deliberately caused grievous bodily harm to one Isata Sesay.

Reading her judgment at the High Court Room No.1, Justice Samba said the convict was indicted on 4th April, 2016.

She noted that to secure a conviction on the offence, it must be proved specifically that the accused person caused grievous bodily harm to the victim named in the indictment with the specific intent of malice.

“This court is sitting both as tribunal of fact and as a tribunal of law. I must therefore keep in mind and in my view at all times the legal requirement that in all criminal matters the prosecution must prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts,” she opined.

She said the prosecution closed their case on 17th August, 2016 after presenting four witnesses who testified in the matter and that the accused was put on his election as to how he would open his case, adding that he opted to depend on his statement he had made to the police.

She said that having gone through the testimonies of prosecution witnesses and the statement of the accused to the police, she found the accused guilty as charged.

In her plea of mitigation on behalf of the convict, Lawyer Cheryl Blake from the Legal Aid Board told the court that the convict was a first time offender and that if given another chance, he would never repeat such an act.

She called on the Judge to temper justice with mercy, considering the fact that the accused had spent almost nine months in remand and pleaded with the female judge to save the convict from a custodian sentence.

In her sentencing statement, Justice Samba said the punishment for such offence ranges from life imprisonment to penal servitude, but noted that the Correctional Services Act of 2014 prohibits panel servitude.

“I have heard the plea in mitigation by the convict and his defense counsel. I take note of the fact that the convict has served about nine months in jail but I must remind him that one who commits a crime run a time in prison as prescribed by law. He must therefore refrain from violent acts out of being hot-tempered or out of drunkenness as his counsel insinuated by way of cross-examination. We do not require people who are prone to violence activities in society,” she said.

She thus ordered: “I hereby send the accused, Alhassan Sesay, to serve 16 months imprisonment inclusive of the nine months he had already spent in custody.

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