April 26, 2018 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The High Court of Sierra Leone, presided over by Justice Monfred Sesay, yesterday (April 25, 2018) sentenced one Sorie Conteh to death by hanging after his conviction for raping an 18-year-old lady to death at Regent in Freetown.
State Prosecutor J.A.K. Sesay presented evidence in court that the convict, on 27 July, 2015 in the Regent Community, outside Freetown, conspired with an unknown gang who raped and killed Fatmata Tarawallie, 18.
The State Counsel presented nine witnesses in court to prove the case against the convict and also relied on his confessional statement to the police during investigation.
Evidence was led that on the day of the incident the deceased was out and about selling banana fruits when the convict and his friend approached and proposed to her, but that the deceased reportedly told them that she had heard their proposal.
Evidence also stated that the convict confessed to the police that the deceased consented to having sex with both of them, but only once.
But they insisted on having another round and forced her for the second time, said the prosecution.
The convict is reported to have confessed that because the deceased tried to refuse them they overpowered her, and that she threatened to report the rape to her parents when she got home.
According to Justice Sesay, the convicts decided to hit the deceased with stone on her head until she died, an act the judge described as ‘ruthless and cruel.’
Prosecutor Sesay said that the pathologist findings showed that the deceased suffered from swollen genital and several bones, including her spinal cord, wrist and jaw bones broken.
In her plea of mitigation, Lawyer O.C. Spencer-Coker of the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board said that notwithstanding the confessional statement of the convict to the police, the convict denied the allegations in court. She submitted that the prosecution has failed to connect the convict with the crime without reasonable doubt.
However, Justice Sesay convicted Sorie Conteh to death by hanging after the 12 jurors returned a guilty verdict.