Tears in Freetown as Court Sentences 45-Year-Old Stone Miner to Death By Hanging

A High Court in Freetown, Sierra Leone has on Wednesday 24th February 2021 sentenced 45 year old stone miner Foday Jusu Yambasu to death by hanging for killing his father in –law, Sorie Kamara.

Justice Monfred Sesay handed the sentence after the 11 man jury returned with a guilty verdict on the offence of murder contrary to law. Prior to the judgment, the prosecution alleged that on 11th September 2018 in the Western Area, Foday Jusu Yambasu murdered Sorie Kamara, and was charged with murder by the police.

Awoko reports that in order to prove the allegation of murder, the state prosecution, led by Joseph A.K. Sesay, called seven witnesses including the wife of the accused, the wife of the deceased, and pathologist Dr Simion Owizz Koroma.

He also tendered seven exhibits, including the voluntary caution statement of the accused, one old cutlass, and the medical certificate of the cause of death.

The crux of the prosecution case rested on the accused hitting the deceased with a cutlass on his head and iron on his sides that led to his demise after he’d chased his wife, who ran to her father for protection from the accused.

They said the 66 year old deceased was a peace maker who wanted to settle a dispute between his son-in-law and his daughter, but eventually was killed in the process by the accused.

As both counsel for the state and defence had made their oral submissions a week ago, Justice Sesay in his summing statement to the jurors said for the accused to be found wanting of the offence of murder , four elements must be proven by the prosecutor, among them that; the prosecution must establish that the accused did something to the deceased that led to his death; the accused had the intention of committing the act; and the act which was committed against the deceased had led to his death, within a year and one day.

Going through Dr. Owizz’s findings, Justice Sesay said the deceased had suffered “acute hemorrhagic and neuron-genic shocks” and called on the jurors to base their finding according to the evidence revealed in court. He noted that if they thought the prosecution had proven its case beyond reasonable doubt, they should return a verdict of guilty. But if they were not convinced by the level of evidence led by the prosecution, they should return a verdict of not guilty.

The accused who relied on the statement he made to the police, didn’t call any witnesses in court. He out rightly denied the allegation at the police station and in court. He said in his statement that he caught his wife and her boyfriend having sex in their matrimonial bed, and acted in self-defence after his wife’s family including the deceased, confronted him with weapons.

He vehemently denied hitting the deceased with a cutlass, as he was not aware of whom he had hit and was certainly not responsible for the death of his father-in-law.

After the jurors returned with their guilty verdict, Justice Sesay later sentenced Yambasu to death by hanging for the killing, despite the plea in mitigation made by lawyer K. Kanu on behalf on the convict.

MORE ABOUT: Freetown

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