His conviction came after he pleaded guilty to a single count of being in possession of a suspected stolen property. However his co-accused who is a brother to him pleaded not guilty. Labou Gomez and Richard Gomez are accused of stealing D150,000 left in their vehicle by a passenger which they used to buy another vehicle.
Sentencing the convict, Magistrate Lamin Mbaye stated: “Despite the convict’s lack of previous conviction, it seems from his demeanour that he has not fully comprehended the seriousness of the offence he has committed because he cannot give the court good reason why he took the cash that was left in his car by an innocent passenger. He just told the court that he took the money because he thought it is useful to him to do something. Therefore, I sentence Labou Gomez to a fine of D20,000 in default he will serve five years imprisonment with hard labour.”
Sub-Inspector Manga, prosecuting, said Mr Gomez was arrested after his apprentice [driver’s mate] reported him to the police. “After the passengers disembarked the vehicle, the apprentice found CFA [notes] in the vehicle. The first accused took the money to the second accused who advised him to buy a car. They later converted the money into dalasis which amounted to D150,000. The apprentice who is seventeen was given D5,000. He felt dissatisfied by the amount given to him and reported the matter to the police station,’ the prosecutor said.
In his plea of mitigation, Labou Gomes told the court he was the sole carer of his aged mother and the breadwinner of his family. He paid the fine.
Meanwhile, the second accused, Richard Gomez was to be granted bail in the sum of D20,000 or provision of a Gambian surety with a Gambia identity card. He was also told to surrender his travelling documents.]]>