Jun 17, 2009, 7:13 AM
Three police officers: Lamin Jammeh, Sissawo Badjie and Sheikh Sowe, charged with negligence and aiding eleven trial prisoners to escape from lawful custody at the Bundung Police Station were on Monday 27th July 2009 convicted and sentenced by the Bundung Magistrates' Court.
The 1st accused was sentenced to one year's mandatory jail term, while the 2nd accused received a mandatory jail term of nine months, and the 3rd accused got a six months mandatory jail term.
The presiding magistrate, Kumba-Sillah Camara, pronounced that these sentences would serve as a deterrent to others.
In her judgement, Magistrate Kumba-Sillah Camara stated that "the accused were charged with the offence of negligence and aiding eleven trial prisoners to make their escape from lawful custody". She said the three accused persons pleaded not guilty, noting that the prosecution called four witnesses in support of their case while the defence called three witnesses.
She pointed out that the convicts had confirmed before the court that on the day in question they were on duty at the said police station. She further adduced that all the convicts confirmed to the court that the cell door was locked.
She posited that as a result, "the court found it as a matter of fact that the accused had been careless and should be ashamed of the act, because they have a duty to oversee the station."
She further revealed that the convicts' evidence that they tried to stop the prisoners from escaping does not mean that they were not negligent.
She finally added that the prosecution witnesses' evidence collaborate each other by providing all the valuable facts before the court, adding that the prosecution have proven their case beyond all reasonable doubt.The convicts in their plea of mitigation begged for mercy.