A fine of D20, 000 has been levied on a woman by a Bundung Magistrates’ Court following her change of plea from not guilty to guilty of a charge of attempted infanticide on Monday.
Magistrate Muhammed Krubally convicted and levied the fine on Sophy Sawaneh and also ruled that should she fail to pay the fine, she will serve a month’s imprisonment term. She was charged for attempting to kill her new born baby.
Sophy has appealed for the court to temper justice with mercy on her, saying she did the act out of frustration and fear but did not intend to kill her baby.
Magistrate Krubally said the court found her plea of mitigation sympathetic, saying it would extend a judicial compassion on her under the circumstance and not letting her go free.
He said the baby that the convict intended to kill could be a great benefit to many people and even the entire nation. He also said the court has taken the convict’s plea, her demeanour and her age into consideration.
Magistrate Krubally further said the convict would be punished to send that as an example to would be offenders for them to refrain from doing similar acts.
He made reference to the case of Nyabally versus the State in which, he said The Gambia Court of Appeal cautioned first time offenders and fined them instead of subjecting them to custodial sentences. He said he would invoke Section 29 (3) of the Criminal Code to impose a fine on the convict instead of a custodial sentence.
The court further ordered that the convict’s daughter be returned to her immediately from the Home for Children where the child is being sheltered.
Magistrate Krubally also warned Sophy to always show care and affection to her child and urged her family members to assist and support her if possible and not to frustrate her.
by Modou Kanteh