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MAGISTRATE WEEPS SENTENCING LECTURER CONVICTED OF ABDUCTING STUDENT

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By Amadou Jadama

In a rare emotional outburst, Principal Magistrate Anna Mendy of Brikama magistrate court burst into tears yesterday as she passed a jail sentence on Gambia College lecturer Alassana Janneh found guilty of abduction and assault of his student.

The dramatic spectacle in the court started when the convict Mr Janneh fell on the floor as the judgment was being read, forcing the court to stand down as his wife assisted by other people attended to him.

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The magistrate asked the lawyer of the convict whether he would be able to attend the proceedings who replied that matters could continue.

The magistrate then convicted and sentence him to a mandatory jail term of two years on count one and then announced a fine of D50,000 on count two in default to serve a jail term of two years, and a compensation of D200,000 to the victim or another two years in prison.

But the magistrate, Anna Mendy, herself burst into tears and on completion she immediately went to her chambers still crying.

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Asked why she was crying, she declined to comment.

According to the prosecution led by ASP Buteh Sawaneh, the convict, a lecturer at the Gambia College, was charged with two counts of abduction and assault causing actual bodily harm.

He was first arraigned on 27 September last year with the victim’s testimony as evidence-in-chief. The accused, who had earlier denied the charges, later changed to plead guilty.

In his plea of mitigation, the lawyer for the convict LK Mboge begged the court to temper justice with mercy stating that his client was very remorseful, most especially because he is a family man with a wife and child. “He is also a civil servant and a first-time offender who did not waste the court’s time,” the lawyer said.

But in her judgment, the magistrate contended that the effect of abduction in our community is a growing concern as most men with ulterior motives venture in such wicked or evil attitude thereby causing trauma to their victims. “In this instance, the convict is a lecturer at the Gambia College and owes the victim, a student of the said Gambia College, a duty of care from any harm. Therefore, there is need to eliminate such unacceptable, wicked, immoral and unlawful behaviours,” Magistrate Mendy said.

“Mindful of the fact that the convict is a first-time offender, I am still tempted not to give him a heavy sentence especially because of the fact that he did not waste the precious time of the court and being a student himself as well.”

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