By Janet A. Sesay
On Tuesday 4th May 2021, Josephine Harding made her fourth appearance before Justice Komba Kamanda, who presides over at the Freetown High Court, for allegedly stealing over 112 million Leones.
The accused is currently before the court on one count of larceny in a dwelling house, which is contrary to Section 13(a) of the Larceny Act of 1916.
State Counsel Yusif Isaac Sesay alleged that the accused, on the 5th June, 2015 at George Brook, Dwarzack in Freetown, broke and entered into the dwelling house of Osman P. Conteh and stole one hundred and twelve million, one hundred and twenty thousand Leones (Le112, 120,000) from the complainant.
Testifying before the court, Detective Police Constable Bockarie Kallon, attached to the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters, formally attached to the New England Ville Police Station, recognized the accused and recalled the said date.
He said, on that date, he was on duty at the station when the complainant reported a case of larceny in a dwelling house against the accused. The matter was allocated to him for further investigation.
He said a team of investigators, including himself, visited the scene of crime at George Brook, Dwarzack and discovered a key that was allegedly used by the accused to open the door.
He said, after that discovery, they proceeded to the premises of the accused to conduct a search. During the search, they discovered 26 jerry cans of palm oil and money wrapped in bands, which they took to the station as exhibits.
He further told the court that, after the search, they returned to the station and obtained statements from the complainant and witnesses.
The witness said he was later informed that the accused is in Kenema, but he contacted his colleagues, in Kenema, who later arrested him.
He said, on the 8th June, 2018, DPC 10783 Nallay and himself obtained voluntary caution statements from the accused. According to him, the accused admitted stealing the money, which she gave her mother for safe keeping. She also took two million Leones and gave it to her sister to buy some jerry cans of palm oil.
He said, on the 11th June 2018, he obtained statements from the accused’s mother and sister. They denied the allegations in those statements.
“On the 19th June 2018, I and Detective Sergeant 10783 Nallay charged the accused with the offense of larceny in a dwelling house,” he said.
Justice Komba adjourned the matter to Tuesday 18th May 2021 for the defense counsel to cross examine the witness. The accused is on bail.