By Janet A. Sesay
Justice Ivan Sesay of the Freetown High Court yesterday sentenced Davida Jones to ten years imprisonment, as she was found guilty of trafficking a fourteen (14) old child.
The convict was standing trial on two counts of attempted child stealing and attempted human trafficking, which offences are contrary to law.
The indictment indicated that the convict, on 16th September 2019, in Freetown, attempted to take away Moammed Nyalla (a child) through deception.
Before sentencing, Justice Ivan Sesay said the burden and standard of proof in criminal matters in Sierra Leone rest on the prosecution, who should prove its case beyond all reasonable doubts.
He said the essential elements are to ensure that the prosecution is able to prove that the child is under age and that the accused attempted to steal the child. He said, in a bid to prove its case against the accused, the prosecution led three witnesses. The second prosecution witness, who is the victim, recognised the accused and said that the accused attempted to sell him to her boyfriend. The witness added that the accused, on that day, told him to follow her to an unknown destination.
He said the evidence of the other witnesses also corroborated the evidence of the victim. He said, looking at the evidence, he was satisfied that the prosecution has proved their case beyond all reasonable doubt. According to the witness, the accused is guilty as charged on both counts.
Cecilia Tucker, representing the Sierra Leone Legal Aid Board, made a plea of mitigation on behalf of the accused. She also asked the Judge to temper justice with mercy, as the accused is a first time offender, considering also that the accused had been in custody since the inception of the matter.
Justice Ivan Sesay therefore sentenced the accused to four (4) years imprisonment for count one and six (6) years imprisonment for count two, making it a total of ten years.