Jul 14, 2014, 10:24 AM
Magistrate E. Jaiteh of the Brkama Magistrates’ Court recently acquitted and discharged one Dodou Camara, accused of attempting to commit a felony.
Delivering the ruling, the trial magistrate said the accused, Dodou Camara, was charged on a single-count of attempt to commit a felony.
The particulars of offence were that on 4 December 2014, at Banjulnding village in Kombo North District of the West Coast Region, he entered into the Mother’s Union School with intent to commit a felony, therein stealing.
He was arraigned before the court and he pleaded not guilty to the charge alleged.
To discharge the arduous burden of proof required in the case, the prosecution called one witness and tendered no exhibit, he said, adding that the facts relied upon by the prosecution was sufficiently elicited from the testimony of the witness.
According to the magistrate, he had carefully read the testimony adduced by the lone prosecution witness in the case file.
“I have carefully looked at the wordings of section 365 of the Criminal Code and the particulars of offence on the charge sheet; it appears to me that for the prosecution to succeed to ground a conviction for the offence of attempt to commit theft, the following essential ingredients must be established: did the accused attempt to steal at Mother’s Union Nursery School in Banjulnding? Did the accused intent to steal?” he said.
With regard to the lone issue as to whether the accused attempted to steal from the Mother’s Union Nursery School in Banjulnding borders on whether the accused intent to commit theft, he added.
The prosecution failed to call the complainant, Jainaba Sambou, to testify as to how the accused stole her goats, he said.
The prosecution further failed to call any material witness who suspected the accused of stealing Jainaba Sambou’s goat at all, the magistrate continued.
Corporal Marabi Touray’s evidence did not help to establish any essential ingredients of the offence alleged and he wondered why prosecutor 3999 Secka would waste the meager resources of The Gambia in prosecuting a case where there is no evidence to the contrary, he said.
“My mind is clouded with doubts as to whether the accused attempted to steal property on that fateful day at Mother’s Union Nursery School. I do not find any evidence or the evidence of the ingredients of this offence or elements of it that can sustain or even secure a conviction on this charge,” Magistrate Jaiteh said.
“Thus, I do not believe and cannot find any prima facie case against the accused person on this charge. I also find that no essential element of such an offence as charged under this count has been proved thus I ask the question how the accused person, Dodou Camara, herein can then be expected to offer any explanation on this offence as charged,” he stated.
“Consequently, I record a finding of not guilty. Therefore, the offence charged is dismissed. The accused is hereby acquitted and discharged accordingly,” he declared.
“I hereby order that the accused Dodou Camara’s vehicle be returned to him with immediate effect by the prosecution,” he said.