Magistrate Manuela Harding of the Pademba road Court No. 2, last week (Friday February 5, 2016) convicted, sentenced and fined seven petty traders to fourteen years imprisonment or pay a fine of fourteen million leone into the Magistrate Court judiciary Sub-Treasure account because they were unlawfully trading in pharmaceutical drugs without license in Freetown.
The convicted petty traders (accused persons) comprising; Isha Sesay, Ramatu Kamara, Momoh Sahid Conteh, Kapri Mansaray, Charles Talleh, Mabinty Fofana and Mabinty Turay were arrested and later charge to court with the offence of possession of pharmaceutical drugs without license contrary to section 59(1) of the the pharmacy and drugs Act of 2001.
According to the prosecuting officer, Inspector Moses Moore, during a raid conducted by a team of police officers at different locations in Freetown on Thursday January 28, 2016, the convicted petty traders were found in possession of the following pharmaceutical drugs below, selling without license, KVA Fbuprofen tablets 400mg, Doxy cycline, Dicloperte, Diclofenac, Hunga-up, Eat fine, Pirox Extra, Hot rub, Anti-fungi cream, Bon Force, capsitop Gel, ORS et cetera.
Making a plea of mitigation on behalf of all the convicts, Lawyer Alpha Salieu N’dolleh Esq appealed to the magistrate to have mercy on the convicted accused persons, arguing that they are bread winners of their respective families and have to take care of them as there was no one to perform their family responsibility in their absence.
He added that the convicts are first time offenders and the time they had spent on remand, he said, served as a lessons for the crime for which they were before the Court.
He pointed out that the convicts are in their youthful age and begged the Magistrate to have mercy on them while passing sentence.
When Magistrate Manuela Harding was writing down her judgment, the lips of the convicts while standing in the dock were moving slowly as if they were saying their last prayers for divine intervention.
In her judgment, Magistrate Harding stated that the conduct of the convicted accused Persons will result to the selling of expired and harmful drugs to the public since they do not have license.
She noted that the law states that the crime committed carrys five years imprisonment to an alternative fine of five million leone but due to the plea made by their counsel she would consider a lesser punishment.
“In the light of the above circumstances, each of the convicted accused persons is to pay a fine of two million leones or serve a total term of two years in prison to be run concurrently” she ruled.