By Aisha Tamba
One Sulayman Jallow was yesterday arraigned at the Kanifing Magistrates’ Court for stealing a flat screen TV set used for virtual sittings from a courtroom in Kanifing.
He pleaded guilty to stealing and breaking into the court but was quick to deny that he intended to steal the TV.
Prosecuting officer Cpl 4370 Jallow told the court that on 13th May at midnight the accused was drinking attaya in front of a shop with the shopkeeper one Aboulie Jallow very near the court premises. “When the shopkeeper entered his shop, the accused person jumped over the fence into the court, at a time the court security officer was praying in the mosque.
“The accused went into the courthouse, broke the door and took the flat screen TV which was hung in the room. He placed the TV on top of the fence and at this point a KMC security officer spotted him and confronted him about the TV set but the accused ran away. The security officers suspected the flat screen must have been stolen and consulted Kalifa Camara who was praying in the mosque.
Later, the shopkeeper informed the security officer that he could identify the accused who was later arrested and brought to the Kanifing police station,” the policeman said.
The flat screen TV was recovered and tended as evidence including the accused cautionary statement in which he admitted to stealing.
However, Lawyer Moses B Richards who was present in the court pleaded on his behalf, adding that the accused person’s plea of guilt signifies remorse and repentance.
He argued that the accused person in the dock is a first-time offender and did not waste the time and valuable resources of the court.
“Sending him to prison is not the best way to treat such vulnerable people because it does not help and in fact, it does not help the society at all that people like this vulnerable man be sent to prison to mingle with other hardcore criminals. They will come out worse than when they went in, and that is not the objective. The objective is to reform and re-habilitate the person but to send him where he will be exposed to big-time criminals. No. I have been there for two weeks in Mile-2,” Lawyer Richards said.
But the presiding magistrate, Ebrima Colley warned that no offense would go unpunished and adjourned the matter to Thursday for sentencing.