By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Mohamed Turay, a 58-year-old man, was last Friday sentenced to a jail term of 25 years after he was found guilty of sexual penetration of a child age eight.
The sentence includes the three years he had already spent in custody during the trial.
Convict Turay, who is old enough to be a grandfather to the eight-year-old victim, was tried and convicted by Justice Jamestina King on one count charge of sexual penetration of a child contrary to Section 19 of the Sexual Offenses Act of 2012.
The convict in March, 2020 in Freetown, sexually penetrated the eight-year-old victim.
According to Justice King, the victim told the court that the convict had stuffed a piece of cloth in her mouth and penetrated her.
The judge said the victim further testified that the convict had threatened to kill her should she have explained to anyone about what transpired between them.
Justice King said Dr. Olabisy Claudius-Cole, who medically examined the victim, had also told the court that, she observed yellowish discharge from the victim and also observed that, the victim’s hymen was ruptured, which shows that she was penetrated.
According to Justice King, the third witness, Hannah Dauda, who is a local chief and also landlady to both the victim and the convict, had also testified that at some time, she heard the victim crying bitterly and that she also observed that the victim was walking strangely.
She said when she enquired, the victim told her that her stomach was paining her and further told her that it was the convict that penetrated her.
She also stated that, when she called the convict and enquired the victim’s allegation from him, he denied and stated that the eight-year old victim was suffering from gonorrhea infection.
She further testified that she immediately called the victim’s father, who had gone to work and explained the situation and condition of her daughter.
Justice King says at the closure of the prosecution’s case, the convict opened his case and denied penetrating the victim.
The judge said the convict had admitted giving some drugs to the victim who had complained of stomach ache and that he had no malice against the victim.
Justice King says after careful examination of the evidence in the trial, she was satisfied that indeed the prosecution in the trial satisfied all the elements in the trial of sexual penetration, which includes, the age of the victim and that indeed there was penetration.
She said the behaviour of the convict was evil and that he took advantage of the victim and penetrated her severally because he had access to her.
She notes that children need to live safe and happily in their homes and community without such harm coming to them.
In his plea mitigation, the convict pleaded for mercy, stating that there is now way he can be able to fight such case against.