Nurse faces court over alleged theft, vandalism at Royal Air Maroc Office

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By Mohamed J Kargbo

Regina Essen, a nurse, appeared before Magistrate Sahr Kekura at Court No. 1 on Pademba Road, Freetown, to face charges related to a significant theft and vandalism incident at the Royal Air Maroc office on Wilkinson Road.

Essen is charged with four counts, including two counts of malicious damage contrary to Section 51 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861, office breaking and larceny contrary to Section 26(1) of the Larceny Act 1916, and threatening to burn a house contrary to Section 50 of the Malicious Damage Act 1861.

The charges stem from an incident on November 27, 2023, where Essen allegedly broke into the Royal Air Maroc office at 16B Wilkinson Road with intent to steal. She is accused of stealing 39,925 Leones (NLe39,925), one HP laptop, two jerry cans of diesel, and 23kg of luggage, with a total value of 85,867 Leones (NLe85,867), all property of Royal Air Maroc

Additionally, Essen is accused of maliciously damaging five doors, three cupboards, and seven CCTV cameras plus a DVR, causing damages valued at 76,211 Leones (NLe76,211). She is also accused of threatening to burn the house at the same address.

During the hearing, the second prosecution witness, Mary John, a sales supervisor at the Royal Air Maroc Freetown branch, was led in testimony by M.M. Tawarally.

John identified Essen as a former employee and recounted the events of October 27, 2023. She described receiving an emergency call and arriving at the office to find diesel spillage, broken doors, damaged cupboards, and destroyed CCTV cameras.

John informed the country director, who then arrived with the police. The police took statements and inspected the crime scene. John testified that hidden CCTV footage showed Essen using her phone torch to enter various rooms, including the safe room.

The footage also showed Essen covering her face upon noticing a CCTV camera before the camera went off.

Defense counsel C.B. Davies requested a short adjournment to cross-examine the witness. The case was adjourned to June 3, 2024, for further hearings, with bail continuing for the accused.

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