Sep 21, 2015, 10:07 AM
Two suspects were Thursday convicted and sentenced by the Special Criminal Court in Banjul, after been found liable for the offences of theft and conspiracy.
The convicted persons are Mohammed Camara and Baboucarr Drammeh.
Delivering the judgement, the presiding judge, Justice Emmamuel Nkea, said the convicted persons herein are jointly charged with two counts of criminal offences.
It was stated in the particulars of the offence that on 14 May 2012, at Sukuta Nema, in the West Coast Region, the accused persons, armed with offensive weapons, conspired and robbed one Halimatou Jallow of her mobile phones and D1,000.
Challenged by the plea of the accused persons, the prosecution called three witnesses and tendered three exhibits, while the accused persons both testified as the lone witnesses in their defence, he said.
The brief facts of the case are that on 14 May 2012, the 1st accused person met up with Halimatou Jallow (PW2) on the road at Sukuta Nema and asked her if she knows one Aja Fatou and she replied in the negative, Justice Nkea explained.
“As she walked away, the 1st accused followed behind her insisting with the same question. At some point they met up with the 2nd accused who later asked her the contents of her bag and she replied that she had phones and some cash therein.”
Shortly thereafter, he went on, PW2 saw the 2nd accused pull out a knife and asked her to hand over the bag to him. She got frightened at the sight of the knife and dropped the bag to him.
“The 2nd accused opened the bag, took out the four mobile phones and cash worth over D1,000, and the two accused persons ran away. PW2 ran to the Old Yundum Police Station where she lodged a complaint,” the judge said.
At this point, he added, it was important to note that PW2 was a commercial telephone operator.
Both accused persons denied ever knowing each other except at the police station after their arrest, and as well denied the contents of the police statements as theirs and also denied their respective names with the 1st accused stating that his name as Mohammed Salieu and the 2nd accused stated his name as Abubacar Drammeh, he said.
“There is no dispute whatsoever that PW2 had contacts with the 1st accused, and there is no dispute that exhibits “A” was later found to be in possession of the 1st accused. There is also no dispute that the 1st accused collected some money from PW2,” Justice Nkea said in his judgement.
In summary, the judge stated that the confessional statements of the accused persons in the matter having been deemed to be voluntarily obtained, he find the admission of guilt by the accused persons therein as the best evidence against them.
He said the accused persons have admitted the offence of theft in their statements to the police and there being no other cogent evidence to the contrary.
“I hold that the contents of these statements remained unchallenged and uncontroverted and I am bound to act on them as the truth in this matter,” he said.
Therefore, he stated that he found as a fact that the prosecution proved the offence of theft with certainty required by law, and he also held that the prosecution proved the offence of conspiracy with the same measure required by law.
He consequently convicted them as follows: they are each sentenced to pay a fine of D50,000 each in default they shall serve 3 years in prison with hard labour on each count.
Both sentences shall run concurrently, and the sentences shall run from the date the convicts were first taken into custody.
In addition, each convict is to pay D10,000 to the complainant as compensation for the mobile phones and the cash lost, in default whereof the defaulting convict shall serve a further term of one year in prison.