By Judiciary of Sierra Leone Communications Unit
High Court Judge, Justice Manuela A.J. Harding has sentenced forty five years old accused Koko Weleh to 30 years imprisonment for sexually abusing a Class 5 and a Class 6 pupils.
Accused Koko Weleh is a Driver by occupation, resident at 21 Chapel Street in the Central Business District of Freetown. He was brought before the Court to answer to two counts of Sexual Penetration of two pupils contrary to section 19 of the Sexual Offences Act No. 12 of 2012. He pleaded not guilty to all charges. He was represented by R. S. Bangura Esq.
According to the particulars of offence, accused on 20th day of October, 2018 in Freetown, Western Area of Sierra Leone, sexually penetrated one Mary Smith (not real name), a-10-year-old class six pupil and one Yvette Conteh (not real name), a 9-year-old class six pupil, of the same address.
The medical report, certified by Dr. Claudius Cole, revealed that no physical injuries seen. The genital findings showed that there were complete rupture of the hymen and a scanty white discharge in the vagina. The medical Doctor went a step further to state that both victims endured some form of trauma due to the penetration.
The prosecution lawyer, O. V. Robin Mason, called six witnesses but the accused said he relied on his voluntary caution statement made at the police station.
In her submission, Justice Harding said, “having heard the allocutus of the accused person Koko Welleh, I now wish to state the following. The aggravating circumstances of this case outweighs the mitigating circumstances.”
She questioned, how can we breed a society in which the older men do not seek a sexual partner in women of their age but rather prey on the vulnerability of the young? She asserted that the act of the accused bears the potential of damaging the womanhood in the future. She said the act of the accused has exposed both minors to trauma and a life of promiscuity beyond their making.
Delivering her judgement, Justice Harding said the accused is guilty of both offences. On count one, she sentenced the accused to fifteen years and on count two, the accused was sentenced to fifteen years and both sentences to be run concurrently.