By Bruce Asemota
Bakary Sanneh, a driver, has been convicted of manslaughter and jailed for causing the death of a policeman at Denton Bridge.
Sanneh appeared before Justice Zainab Jawara-Alami of the High Court in Banjul charged with recklessly driving a vehicle under the influence of drugs which resulted in the death of Omar Drammeh on October 7th, 2015 at Denton Bridge.
In delivering her judgment, Justice Zainab outlined that during the trial, Sanneh pleaded not guilty to the charge, that the prosecution called six witnesses, tendered five exhibits while the defence called two witnesses.
She explained that Sanneh was driving a vehicle coming from Banjul towards the Denton Bridge checkpoint in a convoy when two other vehicles in front of him suddenly stopped and he swerved to avoid a collision and consequently hit Omar Drammeh, a police officer who subsequently died as a result of the accident.
Justice Zainab stated that the prosecution discharged the burden of proving its case against the convict beyond reasonable doubt and that Sanneh’s defence of his action was untenable.
She said Sanneh is a young man, the sole bread winner for his family and a first time offender who had decided to throw care and caution to the wind and drive recklessly as was the custom with regard to convoys attending marriages between our local boys and white women.
Justice Zainab pointed out that Sanneh and friends had no regard for the life and safety of road users or traffic police officers.
Justice Zainab noted that the sentence as prescribed for the punishment of manslaughter is life imprisonment but she took into account Sanneh being a young man with a lot of years ahead of him and being a first time offender.
She therefore sentenced him to seven years imprisonment with hard labour.
Justice Zainab stated that the sentence would start from the date Sanneh was first taken into custody, meaning he had already served four of his seven years.