March 5, 2015 By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
Magistrate Manuella Harding of the Freetown Magistrates’ Court No.6 yesterday convicted two accused persons for assaulting one Detective Police Constable 7730 Moigua while executing his lawful duties.
In her ruling, Magistrate Harding observed that people are in the habit of disrespecting police officers while executing their lawful duties, adding that the law provides safety and security for police officers while performing their duties, to enforce law and order without obstruction.
“My sentence will serve as a lesson to the accused persons that are now before me and also to those that are in the habit of disrespecting and obstructing police officers while performing their lawful duties,” she said. “On count one which has to do with assault, I caution and discharge both accused persons and on count two, both accused should pay three hundred thousand Leones (Le300,000) each or an alternative jail term of six months in prison.”
She furthered that on count three, 1st accused (Haja Sankoh) should pay two-hundred thousand Leones (Le200,000) or an alternative jail term of one month, while the accused was cautioned and discharged on count four.
“On count five, both accused persons should pay one hundred thousand Leones (Le100,000) or an alternative jail term of one month,” Magistrate Harding ordered.
Defence counsel Julian Cole had earlier pleaded with the magistrate to temper justice with mercy because his clients did not waste the court’s time and have already learned their lessons with the few days they had spent at the Female Correctional Centre.
The convicts – Haja Sankoh and Zainab Kamara – had been arraigned on five counts of assault on a police officer, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, exposing goods for sale in a prohibited area, obstruction and disorderly behaviour, contrary to section 12 of the Public Order Act No.46 of 1965, as replaced by section 12(a) of the Act No.15 of 1973.
The prosecution had alleged that the accused persons on 19 February, 2015, along Rawdon Street in Freetown assaulted Detective Police Constable 7730 Moigua while executing his lawful duties.