May 29, 2013, 12:11 PM
Magistrate E. Jaiteh of the Brikama Magistrates’ Court recently convicted and sentenced one Malanding Dampha to a fine of D10,000 in default to serve one year in prison.
Malanding Dampha, who was found guilty of stealing 16 fowls, was also ordered to pay a compensation of D5,500 in default to serve six months in prison.
The particulars of offence alleged in count one were that Malanding Dampha and Ousman Jobe, on 6 March 2015 at Basori village in Kombo East District of the West Coast Region, conspired to commit an offence.
Count two stated that the accused persons on the same date and place stole 16 fowls being the property of Fatou Jatta, Jainaba Conteh, Ousman Sarjo and Alhajie Babou.
The magistrate, in his judgment, said the accused persons were arraigned before the court on 24 March 2015 and the second accused person, Ousman Jobe, pleaded guilty to the allegations by the prosecution, and the 1st accused, Malanding Dampha, pleaded not guilty as charged, on both counts.
To discharge the burden of proof required in the case, the prosecution called three witnesses and tendered exhibits including the photographs of the stolen fowls and the dead ones, he said.
Prior to the prosecution closure of their case, the accused escaped from lawful custody on 13 April 2015 whilst the trial was in progress.
He said the accused was arrested on 19 August 2015 and appeared for trial on 26 August 2015, and the prosecution closed their case at that juncture.
At the closure of the prosecution’s case on 26 August 2015, the accused changed his plea of not guilty to guilty, and the prosecution adopted the evidence of the prosecution witnesses as the facts leading to the commission of the offences alleged.
The accused admitted the evidence led by the prosecution witnesses as the truth leading to the commission of the offences, he added.
“It is trite law that facts admitted need no further proof. Since the accused voluntarily admitted of occasioning the offences of conspiracy and theft on 6 March 2015, I have no other option other than to proceed and convict the accused person on his own guilty plea,” said the magistrate.
“Consequently, I find Malanding Dampha guilty as charged on count one and count two and convict him accordingly.”
Previous conviction: the accused was convicted for escaping from lawful custody and stealing from a dwelling house by the court.
In his plea of mitigation, the convict begged the court for mercy and said he is the first son of his mother and regretted what happened.
“I have listened carefully to the plea of leniency and I have also considered the convict is the first son of his mother. If I am minded to temper justice with mercy, the convict should be taught a lesson nonetheless to deter others. It is for this reason that I shall sentence the convict accordingly,” declared the magistrate.