By Amadou Jadama
Principal Magistrate Muhammed Krubally of the Banjul court has on Monday convicted and sentenced one Muhammed Gaye, a Senegalese national residing in The Gambia, to a mandatory jail-term of five years for stealing a motor vehicle belonging to one Alagie Faal.
The trial magistrate further ordered that after serving his five years, Mr Gaye should be deported to his country of origin.
When the charge was read to him, Mr Gaye pleaded guilty and the magistrate ordered the prosecutor to read the facts.
Narrating, Chief Inspector E Sarr, told the court that the incident happened on 5 September this year while Alagie Faal was driving his car and reaching Buffer Zone, the car had a breakdown and the engine failed to restart.
He added that while he was struggling, Muhammed Gaye approached him and offered to help since he is a mechanic.
He said Gaye managed to start the car and Alagie Faal was happy that he told Gaye that the car has other issues that he would want fixed.
“The next day both accused and the complainant met and the accused took him to Jeshwang and there he told the complainant to go to Babun Fatty to buy electrical cables to fix the problem. Then the complainant went to buy them and came back but he could not find the accused, and that prompted him to report the matter to Jeshwang police station,” the inspector narrated.
He said on 12 September, one of the officers from the Special Investigation Unit saw the said vehicle being advertised for sale on Facebook, who got contact details of the seller.
Prosecutor Sarr further narrated that on 18 September around 10 to 11am the police received information from a reliable source that Muhammed Gaye was seen around the Arch 22 in Banjul where a team was dispatched quickly and he was arrested.
“There, the accused confessed that he sold the said vehicle to one scrap metal dealer around Latrikunda German and the said vehicle was found in possession of one Amadou Keita, a metal dealer who confessed that the accused sold it to him. He said he was convinced by one Mustapha that the car cannot be driven and not roadworthy. The accused was escorted and charged with the offence,” he narrated.
Mr Gaye however begged the court: “I know that I did wrong and if you did wrong, the only thing you can do is to apologize. My family is not around, and I was detained at the police for ten days. I will be happy if I can be ordered to return to my country.”
The magistrate handed him a five-year custodial sentence and ordered for his immediate deportation after serving.