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Rex V. George C. Thomas (1942) LJR-WACA

Rex V. George C. Thomas (1942)

LawGlobal Hub Judgment Report – West African Court of Appeal

Criminal ‘law—Libel—Law in force in Sierra Leone as to sentence —Jurisdiction to amend in absence of appeal against sentence.


The appellant was convicted in the Supreme Court of Sierra Leone upon three counts of defamatory libel. He was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment with hard labour on each count. Appellant appealed against conviction alone, but in his grounds of appeal he averred that by the law in force in Freetown imprisonment with hard labour could not be imposed for a first offence of defamatory libel.


Law in force in Sierra Leone is law as it stood in England on the 1st January, 1880 (Cap. 205 s. 7). At that date hard labour could not be imposed upon conviction for criminal libel in England. No jurisdiction for appeal Court to amend sentence without application from appellant. Adjournment granted and appellant’s application for revision of sentence received; sentence amended to 12 months’ imprisonment without hard labour.

Appellant not present.

See also  Akinlolu Oloto Substituted By Tiamiu Odun-tan Fagbayi (As Head Of Oloto Chieftaincy Family) V. Administrator-general (As Administrator Of The Estate Of A. M. Kuti Deceased & Ors (1946) LJR-WACA

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