By Musa Paul Feika
Police prosecution witness 2, Detective Sergeant 10454 Ferewah Sesay attached to the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Ross Road Police Division in Freetown has testified before Magistrate Hadiru Daboh, who presides over at the Ross Road Magistrate Court No. 3, in the on-going matter involving driver Charles Robert of No. 5 Canny Street, Kanikay in Freetown.
The accused is arraigned before the court for the offence of murder, an offence which is contrary to the laws of Sierra Leone.
The police say Charles Robert, on 10th April 2021 at No. 5 Canny Street in Freetown, murdered Eustace Cole.
Led in evidence by police prosecutor Sergeant 8534 Sesay Gibrilla, commonly called Gibo, PW2 (Ferewah Sesay) told the bench that he recognised the accused and could recall 10th April 2021.
He added that he was on duty at the Ross Road Police Division in Freetown on that day when Anthony Cole, a brother to the deceased, reported a case of assault on behalf of the deceased.
Mr Sesay said the matter was assigned to Detective Sergeant 9707 Essen D. for investigation. He recounted that Mr Cole was issued with a police medical request form on behalf of the deceased for treatment at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown.
On 10th April, PW2 said he and Detective Sergeant 9707 Essen D. obtained a voluntary caution statement from the accused, adding that at the end of the statement the accused admitted it to be true and correct by affixing his right hand thumbprint. The said voluntary caution statement was produced and tendered to form part of the court’s records.
“On the 13th April 2021, I received a telephone call from Anthony Cole, who informed me that the deceased had passed away. The matter was reassigned to me for further investigation,” Mr Sesay explained to the bench.
He furthered that he and the Scene of Crime Officer (SOCO), Detective Police Constable 17308 Kamara K., visited the crime scene at No. 5 Canny Street. Upon their arrival, Anthony Cole identified the cement brick the accused allegedly threw at the deceased.
“Photographs were taken by the SOCO and we took the cement brick to the police station as exhibit,” PW2 told the court. On the same date, the witness said he obtained statements from Anthony Cole and his witnesses.
“On the 14th April 2021, our Crime Officer, ASP Mohamed Kamara, wrote a post-mortem request for the examination conducted on the deceased,” the investigator told the bench.
The witness said he and Detective Sergeant 8543 Smith Batilo obtained an additional voluntary caution statement from the accused. He said at the conclusion of the statement, the accused admitted it to be true and correct by affixing his right hand thumbprint, which was witnessed by Detective Sergeant 8543 Batilo Smith. It was also tendered as an exhibit.
He noted that he and SOCO revisited the scene because during the course of the investigation, the accused had told them that he used a pipe to hit the deceased, not a cement brick.
According to him, upon their arrival, they saw the pipe he allegedly used to hit the deceased.
“The SOCO took photographs of it, and I later handed it over to the Exhibit Clerk for safe keeping,” the witness said.
“On the 16th April 2021, myself and the SOCO witnessed a post-mortem examination at the Connaught Hospital in Freetown; and the cause of the death certificate was handed over to me by Professor Babantude, which I want to produce and tender before the honourable court to form part of the exhibits,” he told the court.
The witness concluded his evidence stating that, on 20th May 2021 he charged the accused with the offence of murder, which is contrary to law.
During cross examination by defence counsel Julian Cole, he asked PW2 whether the incident took place at the accused’s residence. PW2 answered in the negative.
He again asked the witness whether the two police officers were present when the incident occurred. PW2 answered in the affirmative. Lawyer Cole also asked him whether he could tell the names of the two police officers.
“I cannot recall their names,” he replied.
Defence counsel asked the witness whether he could ascertain where the deceased was standing throughout the incident.
“The deceased was standing at his veranda,” the witness told the court.
Lawyer Cole asked the witness whether, at any point, the accused made a report to the police against the three people who attacked him. PW2 answered in the affirmative.
He again asked Mr Sesay if there were people in the accused’s veranda when the alleged incident was on-going. PW2 answered in the affirmative.
“Did you interview those people at the accused’s apartment?” The witness replied in the negative.
“I am putting to you that, you were biased throughout your investigation.” In response, PW2 said his investigation was not unfair.
The accused was denied bail and remanded at the Male Correctional Centre, Pademba Road in Freetown, and the matter was adjourned to 11th June 2021.