Justice Adrian Fisher presided over a jury trial that resulted in a twenty-year prison sentence for Gibrilla Sesay, who was found guilty of manslaughter.
Sesay, who initially pleaded not guilty, was accused of killing his friend David Kamara on February 7, 2022, in Waterloo.
A unanimous jury of eleven members convicted Sesay on the offense of manslaughter after he changed his plea during the trial.
Ibrahim Alimamy Kamara, a retired police officer, testified during the trial, led by state counsel Solomon Kekura. Kamara disclosed that on February 9, 2022, while in custody, Sesay requested to make an additional statement, which was granted. Sesay subsequently affixed his signature. Kamara further revealed that Sesay provided one more statement on February 10, 2022.
On February 11, 2022, Kamara, along with Sara Kamara, the brother of the deceased, and other officers, visited the scene of the crime and witnessed the post-mortem examination performed on the deceased by Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown. Dr. Owizz Koroma issued the cause of death, which was later presented in court. Photographs taken during the examination were also tendered as exhibits.
On March 30, 2022, Sesay was initially charged with the offense of murder. However, the prosecution led by Ibrahim Bangura later applied to amend the charge from murder to manslaughter, asserting that Sesay had committed manslaughter, not murder.
State prosecutor Solomon Kekura amended the offense accordingly. He argued in his closing statement that Sesay and Kamara had been friends since childhood and that Sesay killed Kamara out of jealousy. Kekura continued by explaining that Kamara worked as a bike rider and often lent his bike to Sesay for his livelihood. However, tension arose when a police officer named Sorie Kamara provided a bike to the deceased for commercial purposes, but Sesay asked the police to retrieve it, claiming Kamara was not serious.
Kekura alleged that Sesay had planned with others to kill his friend and, on a fateful morning, asked Kamara to take him to Bengwima. Instead, Sesay led Kamara beyond Bengwima to Monkey-Bush, where he attacked Kamara with a machete, resulting in his death. Sesay then took Kamara’s bike, which was stained with blood, changed its number plate, and hid it.
After being found guilty, Justice Fisher allowed Sesay to explain his role in the matter. Sesay claimed that Kamara had pursued a romantic relationship with a lady Sesay was dating, which had caused him great pain and shame.
Sesay pleaded for mercy and expressed his inability to bear the emotional burden of losing his lover to Kamara and enduring Kamara’s taunts about the lady’s desirability.
Defense lawyer Ibrahim Bangura appealed to Justice Fisher to show mercy in sentencing Sesay, citing that he is a father of three daughters who are attending school and has already spent time in detention during the trial.
“I am not pleased, but the law must take its course,” Justice Fisher stated. He then sentenced Sesay to twenty years in the Male Correctional Centre at Pademba Road in Freetown, emphasizing that while Sesay may one day be reunited with his daughters, David Kamara would never have the opportunity to become a parent due to Sesay’s actions.