Ms. Carlton-Hanciles was reacting to abuses suffered by a fifteen year old pregnant client who had been discharged by the court earlier on Monday, 3 December 2018.
Massa (not her real name) was going through briefing following her discharge by Magistrate Shella Bangura of Court No. 8 where she was represented by the Board’s Juvenile Lawyer, Morrison Karimu.
Massa is a Junior Secondary School pupil. She lived with her father and step mother in Blackhall Road in the east of the capital Freetown. She was forced to flee home because of the abuses she was subjected by her step mother. ‘I was under so much pressure from my step mother I had to flee home and unfortunately my father sided with his wife,’ she said. ‘My father did not visit even when I was in trouble,’ she added.
While she was living on the streets close to the Companero hotel in Rokel where she was allegedly caught stealing a packet of cornflakes, a tin of sardine, a packet of Saba Soap and a mobile phone. She was arrested and held at the Rokel Police Station where she spent one night in detention. She was then transferred to the Waterloo Police Station where she spent another night before she was again transferred to the Dems Remand Home in Kingtom upon her first appearance at the Waterloo Magistrate Court.
Following her discharge, Massa was accompanied to the Legal Aid Board office on Wilberforce Street by a female Social Worker from Defence for Children International. With no home to return, the Board has referred Massa to the partner organization Don Bosco Fambul where she will live until she delivers.
Massa who is eight months into her pregnancy has so far refused to disclose the name of the man who impregnated her. Ms. Carlton-Hanciles was shocked to learn from the Juvenile Lawyer, Morrison Karimu that eighty percent of cases in the Juvenile Court are Sexual Penetration matters.