The Legal Aid Board on 11 May 2022 (LAB) has secured the acquittal and discharge of a couple arraigned on murder charges from a Freetown High Court presided over Honourable Justice John Bosco Alieu, JA.
The two, Daymoh Bangura and her husband, Sholay Val-Renner, who had been in court on a two-count charge of conspiracy to commit murder and murder were acquitted and discharged on Thursday 5 May 2022 following a verdict of not guilty by the jury.
The duo together with Daymoh’s uncle who was represented by a private lawyer was charged to court on 17 May 2016 for the death of Patrick Bangura, who was found dead in a pit toilet at No 7 Upper Tengbe town in Freetown.
The LAB beneficiaries were released barely six years after making their first appearance at the Magistrate Court in May 2016 before Magistrate Manuela Harding, now Justice Manuela Harding, J.
Narrating their ordeals at the LAB head office in Freetown, the couple spoke about the effects of their long incarceration and how it has ruined their lives, saying they have nowhere to start. They said the long incarceration has also adversely hampered the academic trajectory of their four children, noting that the eldest who was about to write his West Africa Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) at the time the alleged incident happened was unable to do the same.
The duo maintained their innocence, saying they had no hands in the death of the victim, Patrick Bangura, who Daymoh described as his step-brother and would not in any way have wished him dead.
They thanked the Board and its Executive Director for having stood by their side during this difficult period. They expressed gratitude to the judiciary for being judicious and also to Legal Aid Counsel, Cecilia Tucker who represented them during the trial for her good work. They averred that without the Board, it could have been difficult to prove their innocence.
The beneficiaries were represented by Legal Aid Counsel, Cecilia Tucker, who also doubles as Legal Aid Manager.