The woman magistrate’s chambers are located next door to the country’s maximum security prison on Pademba Road in Freetown and with all the presumed maximum security deployed at the prisons, the attackers made their way in and out of the woman’s offices with no one of them arrested.
The magistrate, who’s presiding over the trial of 23 opposition members and supporters for public order offenses allegedly committed at Hamilton, just outside Freetown, had spoken of receiving death threats.
All accused persons were denied bail and the matter comes up again in court later this week.
In another sad development, unknown thieves within the hours of Monday August 19, 2019 attempted to break into the office housing the Court Secretary and the Clerk at the Magistrate Court No: 1 along Gbaima Road in Bo.
The said thieves who gained entrance into the courtroom via the unguarded back window of the Court walked the isle from the back to the dock adjacent the witness box, damaged the iron bar of the said Office yet could not gain access because of the fortified steel door leading to the said Office.
The breakage in Bo which now appears to be an organised crime synchs with similar one at Magistrate Hannah Bonnie's Court in Freetown.
The two Magistrates (Magistrates Isata Sellu Tucker and Hannah Bonnie) have in recent past dealt with highly sensitive political matters which critics allude the cause of the attacks to.
The Magistrate's Chamber as of press time is safe.
These breakages further unravel security concerns about the safety of female magistrates and judges including the magistrate courts which are often replete with outdated and decrepit colonial structures and furniture.
The conditions of the Magistrate Courts in Bo are appalling to say the least yet they pump billions of Leones into the consolidated funds. With limited or no electricity and toilet facilities, it begs the unanswered questions as to why they should not be refurbished under the New Chief Justice which could be one of his milestone legacies if done.
According to the Sierra Leone Police Media, the Criminal Investigations Department is currently investigating the case of Office Breaking and Larceny in the office of Magistrate Hannah Bonnie. Initial assessment of the scene points to constructive breaking and three people are presently being questioned by the Police.