By Musa Paul Feika
Abdul Karim Conteh is standing trial before Magistrate Alhaji Suliaman Koroma, of the Ross Road Magistrate Court No.1, for allegedly wounding and assaulting the complainant, Maria Alpha Kamara, in a manner thereby causing her grievous bodily harm.
The police prosecution witness, Detective Sergeant 14606 B.M., attached to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Ross Road Police Division, in Freetown, told the court that he recognized the accused and could recall the day in question.
According to him, on that fateful day, he was on duty at the Criminal Investigation Department, Ross Road Police Division in Freetown, when the complainant, Maria Alpha Kamara, arrested the accused and brought him to the police unit for investigation.
He said the matter was assigned to him for investigation, adding that he issued the complainant with a police medical request form for treatment at the Rokupa Government Hospital, Wellington in Freetown. He noted that when the complainant returned the endorsed medical request form to the Ross Road Police Division, he obtained statements from the complainant and her witnesses, respectively.
On the 3rd September, 2020, the witness added that he obtained a voluntary caution statement from the accused, noting that, at the end of the statement, the accused admitted it to be true and correct by affixing his right hand thumbprint, which was witnessed by Detective Sergeant 1467 B.M.
The voluntary caution statement of the accused was produced and tendered in court to form part of the case file.
On the 4th September, 2020, the witness rounded his testimony, stating that he charged the accused with the offences of wounding with intent, wounding and assault occasioning actual bodily harm, which are all contrary to the Offences against the Persons Act of 1861.
According to the police charge sheet, Abdul Karim Conteh, on the day in question at Wellington in Freetown, wounded and assaulted the complainant, in a manner thereby causing her grievous bodily harm.
During the cross examination, by the defense counsel, Randy S. Bangura, from the Legal Aid Board (LAB) Sierra Leone, he asked the witness whether he established the fact that the accused and the complainant were neighbours. In reply, Mr. Conteh said yes.
Lawyer Bangura further asked the witness whether, during the course of the investigation, he established the fact that a quarrel ensued between the accused and complainant. The witness answered in the affirmative.
The defence lawyer put it, again, to the witness that the complainant was the first to abuse the accused’s mother, referring to her as a prostitute and bastard. The witness also responded in the affirmative.
Mr. Bangura applied for bail on behalf of the accused, but bail was refused and the accused was sent on remand at the Male Correctional Centre, Pademba Road in Freetown. The matter was adjourned to 21st October, 2020.