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Masquerade dancer gets 6 months’ suspended sentence

May 31, 2021, 10:55 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Francis Gomez, who was arrested by the Anti Crime Unit officers when he was masquerade dancing in the streets of Manjai Kunda, for unlawful gathering was convicted and sentenced to six months’ imprisonment which was suspended by Magistrate Mam Samba of the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court.

 This followed his plea of guilty. There were other three charges against him to which he pleaded not guilty.

The prosecuting officer, ASP F. Touray, read the facts to the court. She said that the incident happened at Manjai Kunda on the 5th April, 2021, when Francis Gomez along with other five young men went out in the streets of Manjai Kunda doing masquerade dancing (hunting) and obstructing people without a permit.

She further stated that the Anti Crime Unit officers asked them to disperse but they refused. She noted that the young men continued obstructing the police officers. She told the court that the police officers left them there and later came across them for the second time. She adduced that the police officers asked them to disperse but they did not pay any heed. She posited that the six young men started throwing stones at the police officers who later arrested all of them.

At the end of the narration of the facts by prosecuting officer ASP Touray, the presiding magistrate asked Francis Gomez whether the facts narrated by the prosecutor were correct. He replied that some were not correct because he was in the mask which was heavy on his head and could not have thrown stones at the police officers.

However Magistrate Samba put it to him that he had gathered unlawfully. He conceded and begged the court to temper justice with mercy. He pleaded that he is a student. The presiding magistrate then asked the prosecuting officer whether he was a first-time offender and she answered in the positive. He was subsequently given six months’ suspended sentence and warned by the magistrate that if he commits another offence again, he will serve the six months in prison.

Francis Gomez, Musa Fatty, Malick Jallow, Ebrima Sorri Barry, Emmanuel Kingsa and Joseph S. Njie were charged on four counts of obstructing police officers in due execution of their duties contrary to Section 230 (b ) of the Criminal Code, assaulting a police officer in due execution of his duty contrary to Section 230 (a ) of the Criminal Code, will ful damage to property contrary to Section 312 of the Criminal Code and unlawful gathering contrary to Section 69 and punishable under Section 70 of the Criminal Code.

Francis Gomez pleaded guilty to the charge of unlawful gathering but the other accused persons pleaded not guilty on all the counts.

Prosecutors alleged that the convict and the other accused persons on or about the 5th April, 2021, at Manjai Kunda, around 8 p.m. onwards, in the Kanifing Municipality of the Republic of The Gambia, obstructed Couple 4391 Beyai and 1st CC 7306 Bah in due execution of their duties.

They were also alleged to have assaulted 1st CC 7306 Bah by stoning him on his knee causing him actual bodily harm in due execution of his duty.

The indictment bill further indicated that they will fully and unlawfully damaged police communication set, value unknown.

It was also alleged that the convict and his colleagues took part in an unlawful assembly.

The matter will continue on the 7th June, 2021, for hearing.

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