By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens, JA has on Monday sentenced one Mohamed Mansaray to ten-year imprisonment after he was found guilty of penetrating a fourteen-year-old child.
The accused was charged with the offense of sexual penetration contrary to Section 4(a)(ii) of the Sexual Offences Act 2019, as amended, repealed and replaced by Section 4 of the Sexual (Amendment) Act of 2019 Act No.8 of 2019
M.P. Sesay for state alleged that the convict on 31st May 2022 in Freetown engaged in an act of sexual penetration with the victim who was fourteen years.
The prosecution filed an instrument signed by the Attorney General dated the 6th day of July 2022 for the accused to be tried by a judge alone, instead of a judge and jury, in accordance with Section 144(2) of the Criminal Procedure Act 1965 as amended.
Justice Stevens in his ruling stated that, after the prosecution closed their case, an option was given to the convict to select whether he wanted to rely on his statement he made to the police, take the witness stand and call witness or testify in the dock. But he informed the court through his lawyer from the Legal Aid Board that, he relied on the statement he made to the police.
Meanwhile, Justice Alhaji Momoh Jah Stevens immediately withdrew the file for judgment.
The judge recalled that the accused had pleaded not guilty to the offence as charged, adding that the prosecution brought four witnesses including the medical doctor.
He said the accused denied the allegation in its entirety, but didn’t proffer any defence to corroborate the said denial.
“A substantiated defence by the accused will have been crucial for my consideration of his innocence, but to mainly deny and rely on same, I submit it cannot project a strong defence of the accused,” the Judge said.
He said according to the victim, the accused was his home teacher and that on the day of the incident he came to teach her when he asked her to undress and sexually penetrated her.
She said the accused threatened her not to tell anybody or else he will kill her
“I submit that the prosecution has proven it case beyond all reasonable doubt against the accused person. I therefore hold the accused guilty as charged of sexual penetration,” he ruled.