By Dauda Koroma
A high court in Freetown has sentenced 34-year-old Ibrahim Kargbo to life imprisonment for the offence of sexual penetration and ordered him to pay SSL 10 million ($98) compensation to the victim.
Kargbo was convicted for penetrating a minor, the 11-year-old daughter of his tenant.
During the trial, the court examined evidence from the Ross Road Police Station which indicated, among other things, that the convict had previously committed the same offence on another minor, a fact the convict admitted to in open court.
Justice Manuela Harding ruled that, having thoroughly considered the endorsed medical examination report and other evidence presented by the prosecution, including the corroboration of witness testimonies, the accused was guilty of the offences charged and therefore pronounced him guilty.
The court also established that Kargbo, after committing the act, threatened to kill the victim if she dared to expose him.
But Kargbo maintained he was innocent. He relied on his confessional statement to the police which nonetheless indicted him of the offence. He claimed that the accusation was borne out of malice aforethought because he had prevented the victim’s uncle from battering his wife.
But the medical examination report exhibited a ruptured hymen of the victim with offensive whitish virginal discharge, prosecution witness Dr. Nadia Yillah testified.
The judge stated that preventing a fight between two couples would not have instigated them to frame the convict. And besides, the evidence adduced by the prosecution corroborated the victim’s claims.
The judge’s conclusion somehow impelled the convict to beg for mercy.
Justice Harding said that the convict owed a duty of care to the victim noting that she regards him as a fatherly figure. And throughout the victim’s testimony, she referred to the convict as Uncle Ibrahim.
The judge also stated that the aggravating circumstances far outweighed the mitigating circumstances, and the convict committed a breach of trust.
The judge noted that the psychosocial impact of sexual molestation on the victim cannot be exaggerated, and this is made even worse by the societal stigma associated with it.
The convict has been taken to the central prisons where he will hope for a miracle to overturn his fate!