Three men have been convicted and fined by a Bundung Magistrates’ Court after they were found guilty on charges of conspiracy to commit felony, breaking into a building, stealing and receiving stolen goods.
Magistrate Muhammed Krubally levied a fine of D1500 on Lamin Gassama in default to serve three months in prison and ordered Abdoulie Wada to pay a fine of D500 in default to serve a month’s imprisonment while a fine of D500 was levied on Sheikh Cham in default to also serve a month in prison.
The magistrate further ordered Sheikh Cham to pay D3000 to the complainant Babucarr Touray, in line with Section 145 of the Criminal Procedure Code. Magistrate Krubally said that was due to Cham’s refusal to return two mobile phones as his co-convict Wada did.
Lamin Gassama, Abdoulie Wada and Sheikh Cham were charged for breaking into the shop of Babucarr Touray in Fajikunda and stole items worth D32, 050 in November 2015.
The magistrate said the court was satisfied that the prosecution had proved its case beyond reasonable doubt as required by the Criminal Procedure Code.
The convicts had asked the court to apply the prerogative of mercy on them, promising that if they are given another opportunity they would be reformed.
Delivering his judgment, Magistrate Krubally said having already found all the three convicts guilty of the offences and the prosecution’s information that all of them were first time offenders, he would hold those information as fact.
He also noted that having also listened to the plea in mitigation of the convicts, he found them worthwhile and considerable. In tempering justice with mercy, the magistrate said he would pay heed to both law and justice.
Magistrate Krubally said the convicts would benefit in the dictum of Nyabally versus the State, in which The Gambia Court of Appeal cautioned Magistrates to consider imposing a fine on first time offenders instead of custodial sentence. He said he would exercise his discretion under Section 29 (3) of the Criminal Code to impose a fine on the convicts.
by Modou Kanteh