A Magistrate court in Freetown has sentenced Li Shichao, Manager of the National Workshop in Cline Town in the east end of Freetown to four years in prison for electricity theft.
The Chinese was brought before the Court for illegal supplying and selling electricity belonging to the national grid, contrary to section 63 of the National electricity Act No. 16 of 2011.
According to the prosecution – Assistant Superintendent of Police Aminatu Daboh, Li Shichao on Thursday 12th August 2021, illegally engaged in the sale of electricity produced by the Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority (EDSA), from his workshop to various houses in the Cline Town area of Freetown.
After reading and explaining the charge to the accused in the language he understood, he then pleaded guilty.
In his mitigation plea however, defence counsel Mansaray told the Court that the convict did not waste court’s time by pleading guilty immediately. He also said that because Li Shichao is a first-time offender, the Magistrate should temper justice with mercy.
In reply, Magistrate Kekura said in as much as the accused (Li Shichao) had pleaded guilty and with special consideration to the Counsel’s plea in mitigation, he will reduce his sentence to four years imprisonment.
Alternatively, Magistrate Kekura also stated that either the convict serves the four years at the Male Correctional Centre or pay a fine of Fifteen Million Leones.