Sep 8, 2014, 10:21 AM
The Special Criminal Court in Banjul Thursday convicted and sentenced one Momodou Jallow to six years in prison with hard labour for attempted rape.
The sentence shall run from the date the convicted person was first taken into custody.
This was contained in a judgment delivered by the presiding judge, Justice Emmanuel Nkea.
Delivering the judgment, Justice Nkea stated that the convict was charged with rape, and the particulars of offence read that on 16 July 2012, at Manjai Kunda, the convict had carnal knowledge of an under-age girl of six years.
He said the prosecution called four witnesses and tendered three exhibits in support of their case, while the convict testified as the lone witness in his defence.
The prosecution’s case was that on 16 July 2012, the victim who was six years old then was at home with the accused, her adopted brother.
The accused was preparing breakfast when at some point he invited the victim into a room and ravished her. The accused then threatened to kill her if she told anyone.
The accused ravished her a second time the following Saturday, and this time around the housemaid was spying through the window, and later reported to her parents.
The accused was confronted on the issue by PW4 and he admitted in the presence of his own mother that he raped the victim. The victim was taken to the Francis Edward Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul where medical certificate was issued.
The accused was taken to the Police Station in Bakoteh where he was cautioned and charged, and statements were obtained. These statements were received in evidence as exhibits, he said.
He said the accused in his defence testimony denied the contents of exhibits “A” and “B”.
In summary, the judge stated that the proof of sexual intercourse constitutes the first ingredient of the offence of rape, adding that the law was that sexual intercourse would be deemed complete upon proof of penetration of penis into the vagina, and the slightest penetration would be sufficient to constitute the act of sexual intercourse even when there was no emission of sperms.
“The law is that once extra-judicial statements are admitted in evidence they immediately form an integral part of the prosecution’s case, and the court is bound to rely on their probative value,” he said.
“A person may be convicted on his own confession alone,” Justice Nkea stated.
He said the accused person was represented throughout the trial by counsel, and these statements were tendered and received in evidence without any objection either from counsel or the accused in person.
“The law is settled that a free and voluntary confession of guilt by a person, when duly made and satisfactory proved, is sufficient to warrant a conviction without any corroborative evidence as long as the court is satisfied of the truth of the confession,” he said.
“The confessional statements of the accused person in this matter having been deemed to be voluntary obtained, I find the admission of guilt by the accused person therein as the best evidence against him,” stated the judge.
He said since the evidence led by the prosecution support the offence of attempted rape, he now found the accused person guilty on a charge of attempted rape, instead of rape as originally charged.