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Court of Appeal affirms High Court decision

Jul 12, 2013, 11:27 AM | Article By: Malamin L.M. Conteh

A three-member panel of judges of The Gambia Court of Appeal yesterday dismissed the criminal appeal case filed by one Samba Baldeh, who was convicted on a charge of rape.

The appellant, Samba Baldeh, was convicted and sentenced to 25 years imprisonment with hard labour, by the Basse High, after being found liable for the offence of rape.

The appeal court dismissed the appellant’s appeal on the grounds that the appeal lacks merit, and did not see any reason to disturb the findings of the lower court.  

Samba Baldeh was contesting the verdict of the Basse High Court on the grounds that it decision was harsh, and that he did not understand the nature of the offence.

According to the particulars of offence, sometime in 2002, the convict, Samba Baldeh, had carnal knowledge of a 12-year-old girl, at Sinchu Borra village, in the Central River Region.

The facts of the case revealed that on that fate day the convict asked the victim to accompany him to the shop, and upon arrival at the shop, they found the said shop closed.

He further asked the victim that they should proceed to the next shop, which the victim complied with, which they also found closed.

The victim then told the appellant that she wanted to go home, but the appellant insisted and forced the victim and had carnal knowledge of her, and left the victim at the scene bleeding from the private parts, her skirt and underwear were all stained with blood.

She went home and reported the matter to her mother, who also reported the matter to the father of the victim, who later report the matter to the alkalo of the village, and finally to the police station where the statement of the appellant was obtained.

 The appellant before the court denied the charge of rape, but later informed his counsel that he wished to retract his plea from not guilty to guilty.

 The consequence of which was clearly explained to him, and he admitted to the facts of the case, as narrated by the prosecutor in the presence of his counsel.

The court, in passing sentence, exercise mercy for the fact that the appellant had shown remorse for the act committed, and did not waste the time of the court.