Oct 8, 2008, 7:14 AM
Justice Moses Richard of the Special Criminal Court of the High Court on Monday 17th August 2009, convicted and sentenced one Kalilou Conteh to death for murdering one Fatoumatta Camara of Sukuta Village by hitting her with a pestle.
In delivering his judgement, Justice Moses Richard stated that the convict was charged with one count of murder. He said the offence was that the convict on 21st April 2007, at Sukuta Village caused the death of one Fatoumata Camara. According to him, the case of the prosecution was that the convict had caused the death of Fatoumatta Camara by hitting her with a pestle on the head.
Justice Richard explained that on 3rd July 2008, an order was made for the convict to be taken for medical check-up on the request of the convict's counsel, which he said, was accordingly granted. He added that, according to the court's records, no medical check-up was conducted on the convict. He said the prosecution had called five witnesses, while the defence open their defence but did not call any witness.
He posited that the prosecution must prove that death occurred, and that the convict had caused it with malice aforethought.
Justice Richard further stated that after perusing the entire evidence he reached the conclusion that the convict had indeed caused the death of the victim, which was corroborated with the medical report.
He said the convict had admitted it in his cautionary statement, only to be retracted in his evidence-in-chief.
"I hold that the convict had acted with malice aforethought," he stated.
Justice Moses Richard finally told the court that the prosecution have proven their case beyond any reasonable doubt, and consequently found the convict guilty of the offence charged.
In his plea of mitigation, the Defence Counsel, Kebba Sanyang, said the convict is the breadwinner of his family and had no previous criminal record. Counsel Sanyang urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
In passing the sentence, Justice Moses Richard, stated that "the offence of murder is becoming too rampant in our small society". He said until the society knows the value of life in society it will remain threatened.
He consequently sentenced the convict (Kalilou Conteh) to death.
In a separate development, Justice Moses Richard also yesterday convicted and sentenced one Sytapha Maria to 15 years in prison, with hard labour for manslaughter.
The convict Sytapha Maria was said to have caused the death of one Abdoulie Ceesay by stabbing him with a knife on his neck.
In his plea of mitigation, the Defence Counsel, Kebba Sanyang, said the convict is young and doing a noble business.
Sanyang said as a first time offender, he urged the court to temper justice with mercy.
In passing the sentence, Justice Moses Richard said by nature of the offence, the convict had deliberately acted, noting that murder is becoming rampant.