By Shadrach Aziz Kamara
Justice John Allieu, an Appeals Court Judge, has on Friday 10th September 2021 sentenced 38-year-old Hassan Morray an artist to life imprisonment for the offence of murder.
The judgment came after an eleven-member jury unanimously returned a guilty verdict against the convict, Hassan Morray.
The particulars of offence state that the convicts, Hassan Morray, on the 17th of July 2017, at Freetown in the Western Area of the Republic of Sierra Leone, murdered one 85-year-old Sia Matu Yobah.
Whilst addressing the jurors before the verdict, Hon. Justice Allieu disclosed that the standard in all criminal trials is for the prosecution to prove the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt, adding that according to the totality of evidence before the court, he is satisfied that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt. Hon. Justice Allieu further called on the jurors to give appropriate verdict accordingly and vice versa. Hon. Allieu also cautioned them not to be influenced by any social media commentary or rumors about the matter outside the court but to strictly consider the evidence adduced before the court.
During the trial the prosecution called 6 witnesses including the Pathologist, Dr Simeon Owizz Koroma.
The convict in his statement to the Police on the 22nd July 2017, five days after the incident, said he was in front of the gate of his house at Old School, West End of Freetown when he saw an old woman who asked him to give her medicine because she was sick.
According to him, the old woman took the medicines and entered his (convict) room to sleep, adding that he went away for a while only to return and found the woman swollen. The convict went on to say
that he used a knife and cut the throat of the deceased with the intention to reduce the swelling. He however denied killing the deceased.
In his evidence, 5th prosecution witness Dr. Simeon Owizz Koroma, tendered his medical report on the cause of death, adding that the deceased died as a result of acute hemorrhagic shock due to profuse and torrential bleeding.
In his judgment, Hon. Justice Allieu said based on the guilty verdict reached at by the jurors, he therefore sentenced the convicts to life imprisonment.
In another related matter, a jury panel also unanimously returned a guilty verdict against 58-year-old Stone miner, Alimamy Bangura.
The convict was before the court on a one count indictment of murder.
The Prosecution alleged that the convict on the 19th day of September 2017 murdered Alieu Kamara.
After the jurors returned a guilty verdict, the Hon. Justice Allieu sentenced the convict to life improvement.
Meanwhile, Hon. Justice Allieu acquitted and discharged Mohamed Kamara of the offence of murder after an eleven member jury unanimously returned a ‘not guilty verdict’ against him.
It was alleged that the accused on the 14th of August 2018 at Goderich Road, Lumley in Freetown, in the Western Area, murdered one Alfred Sama.
The prosecution led it evidence two witnesses in support of their case.