Justice Alhaji Momoh-Jah Steven yesterday sentenced one Abu Bakarr Mansaray to four years imprisonment after his conviction on obtaining the sum of Le4.5 million from one Ibrahim Kabba by falsely pretending that he would facilitate documentation and travel to the United Kingdom.
The convict was docked at the Ross Road High Court in Freetown on one count of obtaining money by false pretences, contrary to law.
According to the particulars of offence, the accused on diverse dates between 1st November, 2013 and 31st July, 2015 with intent to defraud, obtained the said amount from the complainant by falsely pretending that he would facilitate documentation and travel for the complainant to the United Kingdom.
In his ruling, Justice Steven stated that the prosecution had produced one witness, Police Detective Nana Kamara, who told the court that on 10 August, 2015 whiles on duty at the Fraud Unit at the Criminal Investigation Department headquarters in Freetown, the complainant made a report against the accused, who was subsequently arrested.
He said a voluntary caution statement was obtained from the accused, tendered in court as exhibit A1-7. He said the witness had testified that the accused made a confessional statement that he indeed received the said money from the complainant.
“According to the Criminal Procedure Act of 1965, it is crystal clear and unambiguous that the confessional statement made by the accused falls within the meaning of what amount to an offence. The accused person obtained money from the complainant, with the pretext that he will facilitate his movement out of the country but that never happened. He never returned the money to the complainant but instead told police that he gave it to one Fatmat Sallu, who later disappeared with it,” the trial judge noted.
“I hold that the prosecution has proved its case beyond reasonable doubt as required and in that regard the accused person is guilty as charged and therefore sentence to four years imprisonment,” Judge Steven ruled. The matter was prosecuted by State Counsel Augustine Sheku, while the accused was represented by C. Tucker.