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In forgery case, court convicts accused

Jan 23, 2012, 12:15 PM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Alieu B.M. John was recently convicted and sentenced on three counts of forgery, three counts of making a document without authority and three counts of uttering a document without authority by the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

In his judgment, Magistrate Tabally told the court that the accused person was arraigned before the court, and charged with eleven counts.

He said the accused was not found guilty on count ten and eleven; stealing and obtaining goods by false pretence.

He added that the accused was found guilty on nine counts, and subsequently sentenced him to a fine of D10,000 on count one in default to serve 6 months in prison, D5,500 on count two in default to serve 3 months in prison with hard labour, D2,500 on count three in default to serve 2 months in prison with hard labour and D5,000 from counts 4 to 8 on each in default to serve 3 months in prison with hard labour.

The convicted person was sentenced on the last count to a fine of D10,000 or 6 months in prison with hard labour.

The magistrate further stated that it was his view that the complainant was entitled to compensation for the lost amounts owed or arising out of the case due to the actions of the convicted person.

“Therefore, I hereby order the convict to pay a compensation of D60,000 and D560,000. There is no order as to compensation for distress or embarrassment. The complainant can resort to civil litigation for such claim,” Magistrate Tabally told the court.

Still delivering his judgment, the trial magistrate said that it was common ground, and there was no dispute about it, that the convict sent an e-mail placing an order, and he was not an appropriate authority to issue such e-mail.

He adduced that the payments of 5,000 pounds sterling and goods supplied in consequence were illegitimate, and caused prejudice to the complainant.

He added that, in addition, the convicted person knew the purpose of the document and, therefore, misled Whynot into believing that the documents were genuine documents.

“Thus, that these were documents which the convict knew to be false, and which he intended to act upon as genuine, is sufficient proof of the mens rea,” Magistrate Tabally said.

He finally declared that since the prosecution had proved its case beyond all reasonable doubts, it was instructive to note that the defence did not challenge material aspects of the prosecution’s case.

“As a result, I hold that the offences of forgery and uttering were proved, and the convict is liable on counts 1 to 9 inclusive,” declared the magistrate.