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City of Banjul
Friday, September 18, 2020

2 nurses jailed for ‘causing death’

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“I hold that the negligent act of the accused persons caused the death of the deceased. It is my opinion that the accused persons were negligent. I’m satisfied that the prosecution has successfully established that the deceased died directly as a result of the acts of the accused persons to the exclusion of all other possibilities,” Justice Abdullahi Mikailu said before sentencing the accused persons.

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Matarr Bojang and Fatou Njie were arraigned in March 2013 on a single count of rash and negligent act causing death. They were accused of causing the death of Fatoumatta Gassama in October 2011 by negligently administering procaine penicillin on her which caused her death. They pleaded not guilty to the charge. To prove its case, the state called nine witnesses. The first accused gave evidence in his defence while the second accused rested her case on that of the prosecution’s.

After sentencing them, the two convicted nurses and their family members and well-wishers burst into tears. The commotion attracted the attention of judicial officers who rushed over to see what was going on.

According to the judge, the convicts knew the pharmacy had no environment for immediate ‘resuscitation’ yet they went ahead to administer injection on the patient who died deceased. “The conduct of the accused persons certainly departed from the standards expected of a reasonable person. In my view, the accused persons have failed to exercise the degree of care that someone of ordinary prudence in their shoes would have exercised in the same circumstance,” the judge added. “I find as a fact that the deceased died of anaphylactic shock secondary to procaine penicillin injection prescribed by the first accused and administered by the second accused.”


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