On Tuesday 13 February 2018 (yesterday) High Court Justice Bintu Alhadi in Freetown gave an order for the discharge of a 17-year old boy. The juvenile pleaded guilty to two charges of Conspiracy and Store Breaking and Larceny last Tuesday.
On 29 July 2016 and 1 August 2016 the juvenile conspired with three adults to break into the shop of Sama Kamara with intent to steal and stole food items and electrical appliances valued at Le1,200,000.
They were arrested and charged with Conspiracy and Shop Breaking and Larceny contrary to the Larceny Act of 1916. At the criminal session of the High Court in Freetown on 15 May 2017, the juvenile together with his accomplices, stood for trial before Justice Bintu Alhadi.
After pleading guilty to the offences as charged last Tuesday, his defence counsel Cecelia Tucker, pleaded with the Court to temper justice with mercy. She argued that the juvenile has learned his lesson from the nearly two years he has spent at the remand centre. He added that the experience has helped reformed his character.
Delivering her judgement, Justice Alhadi said, “Had it not been because of the age and the fact that he has already spent nearly two years at the remand centre I would have imposed a custodial sentence.” The Judge said the reason she will not give him a custodial sentence was due to the regard she has for his welfare as a child; in a bid to remove him from unbearable surrounding; and to ensure that his education and training are provided by his parents.
She discharged him on the condition that he keeps the peace and goes back to school and continues his education with all the seriousness that it deserves; and stays away from bad company.
By Edna Browne-Dauphine
Wednesday February 14, 2018.