By Sahr Eric George
Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Madam Catherine Davies, the owner of Virtues Funeral Home, informed defence lawyers during her cross-examination that the video recordings of the incident at Virtues Funeral Home are currently in police custody. This revelation occurred during the trial of four individuals accused of breaking and burglarizing the funeral home in Freetown.
Under questioning from defence lawyers A. Massaquoi and Jimmy Smith, Davies disclosed that she had given the video recordings to the police. When Jimmy Smith asked about the video recordings she claimed to have captured the incident, Davies confirmed that they were now in the possession of the police.
When questioned about the involvement of the third and fourth accused persons carrying the stolen items, Davies replied in the negative. She confirmed that the thieves had stolen $1,200 and Le 21,000 that night.
Davies revealed that the fourth accused had previously suggested adding to the number of security personnel at Virtues Funeral Home.
Addressing the date of the incident, Davies affirmed that it occurred on October 14, 2023, and clarified that she was at her residence in Pipeline, Freetown, at the time. She stated that she was not present at the crime scene initially and did not see the first and second accused persons there.
When Massaquoi asked if she witnessed the first and second accused persons taking the alleged stolen items, Davies responded in the negative. She emphasized that she did not mention the names of the first and second accused persons in any of her previous statements at the Kingtom Police Station, Central Police Station, and the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters.
Davies clarified that her security personnel provided her with information about the incident at Virtues Funeral Home, and she did not receive any contradictory information on that day.
No re-examination was conducted by the prosecution. Magistrate Sahr Kekura refused bail to all accused persons and directed them to return to custody at the Male Correctional Centre at Pademba Road in Freetown.
The prosecution expressed concern about Madam Davies being verbally abused by some relatives of the accused persons after each court hearing. Magistrate Kekura instructed the prosecution to identify those involved in such behaviour and advised the defence counsels to counsel their clients’ relatives against such actions.
The court adjourned the matter to February 13, 2024. SEG/6/2/2024