EX-POLICE OFFICER SENTENCED TO LIFE IMPRISONMENT FOR RAPE

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By Bruce Asemota

Alexandra Gassama, an ex-police officer, has been sentenced to life imprisonment after being convicted of rape by Justice Ebrima Ba Jaiteh of the High Court in Banjul.
Alexandra Gassama was also convicted of abduction and sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Mr Gassama was found guilty of abducting and raping a 9-year-old girl in West Coast Region over four years ago.
He had pleaded not guilty to the two charges leveled against him and the prosecution called six witnesses and tendered five exhibits to prove its case, whilst the accused person testified as a lone witness in his defence and denied the allegations.
The trial Judge in his verdict disclosed that the accused submitted that the testimonies of prosecution witnesses were contradictory and hearsay evidence and maintained that he is a victim of circumstances and that he is innocent.
The trial Judge further disclosed that he did not believe the testimony of Gassama as it was fraught with inconsistencies and very unreliable.
Justice Jaiteh disclosed that he had opportunity to watch him closely when he was giving evidence and that his demeanor was not convincing at all and that he believes in the testimonies adduced by the prosecution witnesses in their entirety.
Justice Jaiteh held that the prosecution proved its case beyond reasonable doubt on the charge of rape and abduction and was found guilty and accordingly sentenced to life imprisonment for rape and seven years for abduction.
Justice Jaiteh disclosed that he found it expedient that the modern trend in the administration of criminal justice requires the court to give offenders the punishment which is proportionate to the offence.
He revealed that he cannot hide his distaste, repulsion and contempt for a criminal who abducted and raped a young girl of nine years old.
Justice Jaiteh said the act of Alexandra Gassama was malicious and reckless and therefore it is gratifying to impose the statutory maximum sentence.
Mr Gassama revealed in court that he was a sub-inspector at the Gambia Police Force.