By Amadou Jadama
Principal Magistrate Muhammed Krubally of the Banjul court has yesterday convicted and sentenced one Abdoulie Manneh, a prisoner who is already serving a four-year term, to a new five-year term for stabbing a fellow inmate, Sheikh Omar Jeng, a former NIA senior official.
The court heard that the accused used a screw driver to stab Mr Jeng on the neck.
The accused, who was not represented, was found guilty on a single count of assault causing grievous bodily harm.
According to the particulars of offence, Abdoulie Manneh on 12 December at Mile 2 Prisons assaulted Sheikh Omar Jeng with a screw driver.
The incident happened at about 17:00 hours while Jeng was performing ablution at Cell Number 2. The attack knocked the victim unconscious and when he came over he saw blood coming from his mouth and nose and saw prison officers holding the accused with a screw driver which was taken from him.
The court heard that Jeng was rushed to the prison’s clinic and later Ndeban Clinic before finally being referred to the EFSTH where he was treated and discharged.
According to the prosecution, Mr Manneh has said his action was a mistake. Mr Jeng was asked whether he had issues with the accused but he said no, and the matter was reported to the police in Banjul where the accused was charged with assault causing grievous bodily harm.
The accused also admitted using the screw driver that was tendered in court to have been the weapon he used in the attack.
Delivering his judgement, Principal Magistrate Krubally said it is clear that the accused did not challenge the facts. “In light of the foregoing, I hereby find the accused guilty as charged and I shall convict him accordingly.”
At this point, the magistrate enquired from the prosecution whether the accused had any previous criminal record or conviction and the prosecution replied that he is currently serving a four–year sentence on conspiracy to commit felony since March 2021.
In his plea of mitigation, Mr Manneh said: “This is unfortunate. I have just a few months left to serve. This is the work of Satan”.
The magistrate said he has looked at the nature of the charge and his admission to have stabbed Sheikn Omar Jeng and has also observed the mitigating circumstances by the accused which he honestly did not find touching at all.
“I think the accused should have given regard to the sentence he is serving rather than committing another crime which has the propensity of further prolonging his jail term. Instead, he ignored it and committed another one. That being the reality, I decide to sentence the accused to five years by way of deterrence as one of the objectives of criminal punishment,” the magistrate said.
“I hereby order the Mile 2 authorities to engage him on meaningful skills to keep him focused so that maybe, whenever he is released, he might engage on something good for his life and for The Gambia,” he ordered.