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Lady awaits verdict for concealment of birth

Oct 7, 2010, 1:06 PM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

A 30-year-old woman, Isatou Jammeh of Farato village, will now have to wait until the 14th of October 2010 to know her fate, when Magistrate Kemo Ceesay of the Brikama Magistrates' Court is expected to pass sentence on her.

Isatou pleaded guilty to a charge of concealment of birth, and the case was subsequently adjourned for plea of mitigation and sentencing. She was granted court bail in the sum of D5000 with a Gambian surety.

According to the particulars of offence, Isatou Jammeh on 15 September 2010 at Farato village in the Kombo South district of the Western Region concealed the birth of her newly-born child by secretly burying the child at the Brikama Nyambai forest.

Presenting the facts of the case, before a well packed courtroom, police prosecutor Sgt 1260 Kolley said the incident happened on 20 September 2010, when detective Sgt 237 Jammeh, attached to the Brikama Police Station, received a telephone call from an unknown person.

He said the caller informed detective Sgt 237 Jammeh that the accused, Isatou Jammeh of Farato village, who was pregnant, was believed to have delivered, but the child was nowhere to be found, which prompted him to suspect that the child might have been buried.

Sgt 1260 Kolley further narrated that detective Sgt Jammeh, medical personnel, fire and ambulance service personnel and some officers left for Farato to investigate.

The investigating team arrived at the accused person's compound in Farato, but she was nowhere to be found, and was later called to come.

The accused, according to prosecutor Kolley, confessed to the investigators that she buried the child after giving birth. He said the accused person further told the investigators that, on the day of the incident, she delivered without informing anybody at around 6am, wrapped the baby in cloth, then secretly buried the child at the Brikama Nyambai forest.

The investigating team went to the scene at the forest, and they found that the child was totally decomposed, Kolley added.

"The accused was later taken to Brikama Police Station, and later referred to Brikama Health Centre for a medical check-up," he added. He said the accused also told the investigators that she is a housewife, but her husband is presently abroad.

The police prosecutor said voluntary and cautionary statements were obtained from her, and later she was charged with the offence alleged.