Feb 9, 2011, 1:27 PM
Mrs. Anna Patient Coker, the Head Mistress of Bakoteh Annex Lower Basic on 24th September 2009, testified before Justice Moses Richards of the Special Criminal Court Division of the High Court in a rape case involving one Momodou Sidebeh.
Testifying as defence witness, Mrs Coker told the court that she was posted in the school since 1999, and became the Head Mistress of the school in 2003. She told the court that she got to know the accused Momodou Sidebeh since 2004/2005 academic year.
According to her, the accused came to the school and informed her that she was from the provinces and did not know anybody in the Kombo's and that he wanted to do something to help his parents back home.
According to her, she told the accused that she could not appoint him, but that she would allow him to sell food in the school gate and suggested to him to find corrugated iron sheet to put up a stall. She adduced that since the accused started operating; both the students and teachers buy from him.
Mrs. Coker further adduced that, she found the accused very decent and supportive and that she gave him the support, adding that she had never received any complaint about the accused. She went on to say that, when the accused first came there, he was without a wife but a few years later he got marriage and blessed with a child. She told the court that, she learnt about the allegation leveled against the accused person on a certain Monday when a parent came with a little girl who is a grade one student and told her that his child was being raped by a teacher.
According to her, she asked the father when did it happen and the parent told her it was on a Friday. She adduced that she told the parent of the girl that grade one closes school on Friday's at 11am and she was in the school until 6pm, but nobody came to complain that he/she lose her child. She explained that, she asked the father to go with the child around the school with a view to identify the teacher, but could not identify any. She said the parent later came back and told her that they have seen the rapist and is the man in the green house. She said when she asked the accused, he denied the act and told her how could he do that when he live in the same house with his family. She said the parent told her that the rape took place in the accused's house and later said the rape took place at Bakoteh dumping site.
According to her, she asked the father whether he took the child to hospital and the parents replied in the negative, saying he only gave her paracetamol. She said she advised the father to report the matter to the police.