May 11, 2017, 1:37 PM
Prosecutors alleged that on 30 December 2011, at Kanifing South, the accused, Mariama Nyassi, stole from the dwelling house of one Fatou Touray the following items: a set of gold chain and ear-ring valued at D40,000, four gold bangles valued at D70,000, a pair of ear-rings valued at D10,000, a pair of shoes valued at D2,640, two watches valued at D6,300, cocoa butter cream valued at D100, toothpaste valued at D50, the total value of which was D129,090, the property of the said Fatou Touray.
“How do you plead?” the court clerk asked the accused.
“Not guilty,” the accused replied.
Fatou Touray, the complainant, had testified that on 1 January 2012, she realized her gold set had gone missing.
She said she then enquired from her niece, who responded in the negative but added that she once found the accused inside Fatou Touray’s bedroom hiding behind the wardrobe.
Fatou Touray further testified that the following morning she went and reported the matter to the police from where she went with two police officers to her residence.
She adduced that she realised that her ear-ring, a set of four gold bangles were missing from the room, adding that the accused was apprehended.
She stated that the accused was taken to her residence where a search was conducted.
Fatou Touray said that in the course of the search, a pair of shoes, two wrist watches and an ear-ring all belonging to her were found at the accused’s residence.
She further revealed that her children’s toothpaste was also recovered from there.
She testified that during the course of the search, the accused excused herself to go to the pit latrine but was followed by a police officer who saw her attempting to drop a wrist watch inside the pit latrine.
In support of her evidence, two wrist watches, a pair of shoes, toothpaste and an ear-ring were received in evidence.
The second prosecution witness, Babucarr Sawaneh, testified that on 2 January 2012, while on duty as a police officer at his duty post at Kanifing, he was assigned by his superior to conduct a search at the residence of the accused where he recovered some items.
But Magistrate Tabally, in his judgement, told the court that in criminal case, the prosecution has an obligation to make available all material witnesses.
He said he considered the unnamed niece of Fatou Touray a material witness and she had not been called to give evidence.
All in all, he went on, the case of the prosecution had cast doubts as the guilt of the accused for the charge.
In consequence, he found the accused not guilty and discharged and acquitted her.
Mariama Nyassi then left the courtroom a free woman.