Prison Court: Judge acquits, discharges 6 female inmates

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By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

In a sigJustice Abu Bakarr Sannoh has acquitted and discharged six female inmates at the Bo Correctional Centre, while also granting bail to several others.

Miltonia Gardea, who had been convicted and sentenced to seven years in prison, was released following an application by a Legal Aid Defence Lawyer.

The application argued that the Magistrate had exceeded his jurisdiction. Justice Sannoh confirmed this, stating that no Magistrate has the authority to impose a sentence longer than five years. Consequently, Gardea’s sentence was quashed.

Maria Kallon was another inmate who benefitted from Justice Sannoh’s review. She had been wrongfully charged, convicted, and sentenced to 30 months for unlawful possession of drugs. Upon review, Justice Sannoh acquitted and discharged her.

Fatmata Kamara was acquitted and discharged despite almost completing her sentence for domestic violence (economic abuse). She had been convicted for taking her husband’s iPad and mobile phone and giving them to her boyfriend. Kamara expressed remorse for her actions.

In another case, Fatmata Kamara (a different individual with the same name) had her sentence for administering poison reduced by half from four years.

Mariama Makuwa also saw her sentence reduced, with an eight-month term being cut to four months.

Justice Sannoh granted bail to several inmates, including a 17-year-old JSS 111 student charged with burglary. The judge, noting the youth’s appearance, believed him to be underage and directed that his bail be swiftly processed.

However, Mohamed Kallon, who faced a murder charge, had his bail application refused.

In another related development, Justice Abdulrahman Mansaray, assigned to handle over 400 cases within the Western Area under the same Prison Court Initiative, upheld the convictions of more than 45 inmates convicted by the Magistrate’s Court.

The offences for which these convicts are serving sentences include larceny, unlawful possession, riotous conduct, conspiracy, and wounding with intent, among others.

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