Main Law Courts Building, Freetown, 19th September, 2023: High Court Judge, Honourable Justice Adrian Jocelyn Fisher has sentenced Fatmata Kamara, for throwing her newborn baby in a pit toilet.
Fatmata Kamara is accused of Murder contrary to Law, she pleaded not guilty. The particulars of offence revealed that on the 20th day of October, 2019 at Freetown, in the Western Area of the Republic of Sierra Leone accused Fatmata Kamara, murdered her newborn baby. The charge was later reduced to manslaughter by the prosecution.
Addressing the Court, Honourable Justice Fisher said a newborn baby was discovered in a pit toilet on 20th day of October, 2019. Neighbors went to the scene after an alarm had been raised by one Kumba and the accused Fatmata Kamara was there but didn’t tell anyone that the newborn baby was her own child.
A police officer noticed blood on the accused Fatmata Kamara and immediately arrested her for further investigations. When interviewed by the police, she said whilst pregnant, she went to attend to nature in the same pit toilet.
“When I went to use the toilet, the child came out of my vagina and later fell into the pit,” said accused Fatma Kamara.
According to Justice Fisher, accused Fatmata Kamara explained that during the process of attending to nature, she heard the child crying in the toilet and failed to report or raise alarm.
“You rather abandoned the child in the toilet and went to your room without informing anyone,” said Honourable Justice Fisher, adding that, “you pleaded not guilty to Murder but the Prosecution accepted a plea of Manslaughter.”
Justice Fisher said, “as a mother of three, it is rather troubling to say the least that having had three children, you would act in this way.”
In her statement, accused Fatmata Kamara told the Court that she was not happy with the pregnancy because the man she got pregnant for is a married man. She added that she used different medications to abort the pregnancy but to no avail.
Justice Fisher said the statement of the accused Fatmata Kamara was false, “in a chilling manner you told the police that you felt stomach pain and went to use the toilet and at that stage you felt the child coming out. You threw the placenta cord and pushed the baby in the pit toilet.”
The Judge went on to state that the baby must have suffered for long in distress and pain without food before he was finally rescued after some hours. He said the victim was defenceless newborn baby and the killing represented a gross breach of trust.
“I treat this aspect of the case as a single aggravating factor deriving from the relationship of a mother to her own child,” said Justice Fisher, reemphasizing that, “having considered all the evidence about the death of this young baby, and how his death was occasioned I consider that the degree of harm you intended fell in the high spectrum of culpability.”
Justice Fisher said he was convinced that the accused was guilty of the offence of Manslaughter. He sentenced the convict, Fatmata Kamara to Twenty Four years imprisonment, less the period of time already spent on remand.
This is part of the Judicial Week initiated by the Judiciary with support from the UNDP.
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